Week B

GLF Schools and Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre are delighted to announce that their application to open Highdown Riverside, a new secondary school in Reading, has been shortlisted for interview by the Department for Education (DfE). 

GLF Schools submitted the application in Wave 13 of the Free School programme. The DfE has been assessing the applications since the start of January and staging interviews for shortlisted groups during February and March.

The proposal would see the new school, Highdown Riverside, opening under shared leadership with the oversubscribed Highdown School & Sixth Form Centre, as part of the GLF Schools academy trust. Highdown Riverside would be an 11-16 school, with students having the option to move to Highdown School's sixth form provision.

Rachel Cave, Head of Highdown School, explained "Our team work with families across North Reading and are acutely aware of the need for additional secondary school provision in the area. We are hopeful that we will realise our ambition to open a new school for North Reading, which would benefit from the experience of the Highdown team but would provide a different offer for families in the area".

GLF Schools has a successful track record of opening new schools. Jon Chaloner, CEO, added "Every new school is unique, but in every case the prime objective is to provide students with the opportunity for an excellent education."

The group will need to demonstrate parental support for their application when they are interviewed next month, and are asking parents and members of the community to compete a short questionnaire on their website at www.highdownriversideschool.org