Bournemouth's first free school opens - but older pupils are still having lessons at scout camp (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Bournemouth's first free school opens - but older pupils are still having lessons at scout camp
PRIMARY pupils at Bournemouth’s first free school have moved into their new classrooms.
But their older schoolmates remain in emergency accommodation at a scout camp until building work at Dorset House is complete.
Parkfield School was due to open at Dorset House in Christchurch Road on September 9 with capacity for up to 364 pupils.
The opening was delayed because builders were still on site and pupils have been taught at Butcher’s Coppice in north Bournemouth.
This week the younger pupils, up to Year 4, have moved in but contractors from Kier were still on site preparing facilities for the rest of the children.
Principal Terry Conaghan greeted youngsters at Dorset House.
He confirmed the school is open but refused to comment to the Daily Echo.
The school was originally intended to open in Homelife House in Bournemouth in September last year but the opening was delayed.
The government is now paying for Dorset House to be refurbished and used as a base for the school for two years.
A purpose-built, permanent facility in the town centre will also be government-funded.
Free schools are funded by the government but operate outside of local authority control, meaning they have increased control over their curriculum, teachers’ pay and conditions and the structure of the school year.
They are set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, businesses, trust or voluntary groups.
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