Bosses behind Norwich’s Future Free School plans set out vision to government chiefs

Bosses behind plans for a new free school in Norwich will now face an anxious wait after setting out their vision to education chiefs.

Those behind The Future Free School were grilled by Department for Education (DfE) officials on Monday having made it on to the shortlist.

Their proposal aims to offer an alternative provision for Norwich students with behavioural problems.

It aims to replace Future Projects' existing Future Education, on Motum Road, which offers a place for pupils excluded from mainstream schools a chance to gain key qualifications.

The Future Free School was one of two proposals for Norwich to make it through the interview stage. The team will now have to wait a month before they hear back from the government to find out if they have progressed to the next stage.

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Chief executive Daniel Childerhouse said the interview went 'really well'.

He said: 'We feel our vision for our school really meets all the fundamental points and the key point for us is that our school will benefit massively from being part of Future Projects. It's a very robust process and we felt like we answered the questions really well and gave them a real sense of our plans. They seemed very receptive.

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'We will now continue to develop our plans and develop our services over the course of the next year.'

As previously reported, those behind the Sir Isaac Newton Free School – which would be a Norwich-based sixth form specialising in maths and science – had their interview with the DfE chiefs last month.

At the time, Rachel de Souza, principal of Ormiston Victory Academy, who has come up with the proposal alongside Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital chairman David Prior, said they were 'very happy' with how the interview went.

Meanwhile, the parents and young people behind Benjamin's School were dealt a blow last month after their bid was turned down by the DfE.

The team behind the plan vowed to carry on fighting despite the initial rejection from the government.

Do you have an education story? Contact Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email

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