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Gatwick School celebrates rapid growth & success with visit from Parliamentary Lord

The Gatwick School in Crawley, part of Aurora Academies Trust, yesterday welcomed Lord Theodore Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education for a visit to this increasingly popular all-through school.

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Primary and Secondary Student Leaders with Lord Agnew and Mr Roessler Head of School

The Gatwick School in Crawley, part of Aurora Academies Trust, today welcomed Lord Theodore Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education for a visit to this increasingly popular all-through school.

Lord Agnew was given a grand tour of the building by the Head Boy and Head Girl of both the primary and secondary phases.

Lord Agnew is presented with bespoke commemorative TGS student Art by Mr McCarthy AAT CEO and Mr Roessler Head of School.

He was very impressed with the standards of teaching and learning in every classroom and actively engaged with the students.

Head of School Mark Roessler said,

“It was a real privilege to host Lord Agnew’s visit – staff and students alike were impressed with his enthusiasm and encouragement of learning”.

Aurora CEO Tim McCarthy added,

“It is heartening to see Lord Agnew taking the time to visit us and show his support for his Academies. This year sees our first Year 11 cohort sitting their GCSE exams and Lord Agnew was very keen to wish our students well and to inspire them to aim high in life, things we tell our students every day”.  

The Gatwick School opened in 2014 with just 44 students but will have nearly 800 students on roll in September.

Coronavirus

West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent

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September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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