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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!”


Meet the new head of Thomas Bennett Community College

After a turbulent year the school welcomes their new head teacher.



Mr Smith is extremely proud to have been appointed as the new permanent Head Teacher of Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley. 

In particular, Mr Smith is excited to be working with both students and parents in the coming months and serving the community to provide an excellent education.

A highly experienced and inspiration leader, Mr Smith joins Thomas Bennett from Hastings, where he was the Principal for two secondary schools.

Mr Smith says

“my key philosophy has always been to do what’s best for the students, raising their aspirations and giving them the tools to be successful”.

Sharing the governing body’s visionary outlook, strong values and sense of community Mr Smith will further strengthen the schools excellence within a nurturing and student focused environment.

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