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Secretary of State visits The Gatwick School

Secretary of State for Education, the Rt. Hon. Damian Hinds paid a visit to The Gatwick School in Crawley this afternoon along with Crawley’s MP, Henry Smith.



Operated by Aurora Academies Trust, The Gatwick School caters for pupils aged 4-16 and began life as a free school in 2014 with just 44 children.

Just 4 years later there are over 650 on roll and the school has waiting lists for places. Mr Hinds was keen to see why the school has become so popular and he was not disappointed!

Visits to classrooms were organised and led by some of the Student Leadership Team including the Head Girl and Boy from both the primary and secondary phases.

Mr Hinds was extremely impressed with the standards of teaching and learning throughout the school and commented on the high quality learning environment and the engagement in lessons.

Head of School, Mark Roessler said:

“Having such an important visitor to The Gatwick School has really created an energetic atmosphere and today there was a palpable ‘buzz’ around the school. Every student and every member of staff was keen to show off their learning and Mr Hinds was very receptive to that and spent a long time talking to our students and thanking members of staff for allowing him into their lessons.

Aurora’s Director of Education and Executive Head Paul Reilly said “In our first inspection we were rated by Ofsted as being Good with some Outstanding features and that has really helped cement our reputation in the community. We are now becoming the school of choice for many parents who tell us that they like our all-through approach and the unique family feel that permeates the school”.

Henry Smith MP later said:

“I was pleased to welcome the Secretary of State for Education on a tour of The Gatwick School. He and I were very impressed by the engaging children and staff; this school is rightly popular with local parents”

CEO Tim McCarthy concluded:

“Aurora Academies Trust is very proud of The Gatwick School and everything that has been achieved here. We have delivered on the promise we gave to parents to provide a great education to children and families in this area and this visit by the Secretary of State confirms that our success is being recognised at a national level. However, we will not stop here, for us it is always onwards and upwards!”


Crawley College 60th anniversary celebrations continue

On Tuesday 13th November, VIP guests, teachers, governors and business leaders attended a celebratory meal at Crawley College as part of a year of celebrations to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the college.



The college was delighted that several family members of the college’s original principal – Theodore Siklos, were able to attend.

Professor Siklos’ sons Stephen and Paul gave a fascinating profile of their father’s journey from Budapest, where he spoke Hungarian and German, via the University of Brno, now in the Czech Republic, to Wimbledon Technical College and then finally to Crawley where he oversaw the building of the college from nothing more than a building site.

They spoke warmly about their father’s time at the college and brought to life the total transformation that the engineering department has gone through – from an annex on Robinson Road with a single, temperamental computer, to the Advanced Technology Centre which features the latest industry-standard equipment for renewable and sustainable technologies.

Engineering continues to be one of the foundation subjects of the college – no doubt as part of Professor Siklos’s legacy.

The evening started with a drinks reception in the college’s Advanced Technology Centre, and a tour of the college’s engineering facilities, before a delicious meal was served in the college’s newly refurbished restaurant.

The college’s hospitality students designed and created a three-course dinner, based on the original menu served in 1986 when the Siklos building opened. Guests were treated to Waldorf salad, lamb loin, vegetable Wellington and chocolate orange choux pastry for dessert.

Vicki Illingworth, College Principal, commented:

“it was fantastic to see the restaurant buzzing and the students served up really excellent food. Our guests were very complementary about the evening and the journey they could see the college is on – we are very proud that the hard work we are doing is making a difference!”

58 Café Bar and Restaurant is open to the public from Monday to Friday in term time, serving barista-made coffee and homemade cakes all day, as well as a three course express lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Meals are cooked and served by the college’s hospitality students under the expert supervision of our chef-lecturers.

For more information about any aspect of the college, please visit

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