First applicant for free school

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CHICHESTER Free School have received over 100 applications, and the very first one was handed in by ten-year-old Henry Barnes from Selsey.

Henry’s mum Kerry, said: “I liked what the prospectus said about treating each child as an individual, as then they are more likely to find what they are good at and will succeed in life.

“Henry is very sporty so I think he would benefit from a school like this.”

Helen Humphry, project leader, and one of the parents who started up the Free School, said: “It is fantastic it is becoming a reality and all our hard work over the last 18 months is paying off.

“Our open days have been great, and the latest one in Chichester was our most successful with over 100 people coming along.

“We will be running more events to give parents a more detailed overview of what the school will be doing, and parents and children can see how the school will run on a day to day basis.”

The Free School is currently interviewing for a principal, and Helen said when they appoint the position they will run a series of ‘Meet the Principal’ days.

“When we have got the principal on board they will play a big part in making sure our vision for the school becomes a reality.”

Helen and the other parents who set up the school are currently in discussions on the location of the school, and have narrowed it down to three locations ‘in and around Chichester’.

The school is now accepting applicants, and is not one of the three choices parents are given when they pick their child’s school.

This means parents can apply without losing one of their other choices, and is effectively a fourth choice.

Applications for the free school are open until the end of January.

The school expects to take on 210 students in the first year, but by 2019 hope to have a full capacity of 1,170 pupils of primary and secondary school age.

To keep up to date with Free School events and open days visit