Following our interview with the Department for Education it was hoped we would receive a decision on the success of our bid by the end of June.
We have been in contact with the DfE this week and they have confirmed that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their interview process has understandably been delayed. They now hope to be able to inform us of their decision in September.
Our aim would still be to open in September 2021, however that would need to be agreed with the DfE should we be successful in our application.
We know that some parents of children currently in Year 5 were concerned that this would mean a tight deadline for applying for a place for their son or daughter to start with us in 2021 as this usually happens before the end of October.
There is precedent from our opening in Doncaster for a later admissions deadline in the first year of opening.
Whilst of course we cannot confirm anything until XP Gateshead is confirmed by the DfE, we have a strong relationship with the Local Authority.
To reassure parents, if we do get the go ahead to open in September 2021, we will work closely with the Local Authority in Gateshead to make sure that the admissions process is carried out in a fair way, both to applicants to our school and for the other secondary schools in the borough.
Thanks once again for all of your messages of support. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed until September. In the meantime, we remain focussed on the important work of preparing to bring XP’s education to Gateshead for your children.
This video was made by our current Year 8 students in both XP East and XP School in Doncaster. Every word was written by the students.
This film is the culmination of a learning expedition looking at migration which had had the guiding question “Why should we care about migration?”
Students learned about the dust bowl and the Great Depression. They read Of Mice and Men as their anchor text, looked at push and pull theories for migration and linked these to real case studies of migration in India.
Throughout the whole expedition students captured footage of all their experiences working alongside the Doncaster charity, Conversation Club in order to create a documentary for our final product. The aim of our documentary was to raise awareness of the realities of migration and to educate our audience in order to prevent the spread of negative stereotypes and ideas.
This documentary film was premiered at CAST Theatre in Doncaster, where it was screened to parents, guests and the migrants who had so kindly shared their personal journey with our students.
We think this is really positive as it links with comments from both the Secretary of State and Unity Howard from the New Schools Network about the need for more innovative new schools and for more new schools in the North.
Last week we had our mock interview with the New Schools Network, with some really useful and extensive feedback to help us be best prepared for a DfE interview.
Of the 87 applications for new schools, there are three in the North of England area. In our region alongside XP Gateshead, there is an application for a new primary school and a university technical college linked to Carlisle Lake District Airport.
This week we met once again with the Local Authority in Gateshead to move forward with the next stages our consultation. Within the next few weeks we will have more information about where and when these events will be across Gateshead.
These will be an opportunity for members of the community to hear more about our model and proposal, but also importantly they give us a chance to listen to what families from across Gateshead think of our proposal and help us to make sure that we deliver what is best for the whole borough.
We are now awaiting formal notice that we have an interview with the Department for Education. As soon as we get the call we will let you know.
A happy new year and new decade to you all. We hope that you have had a great festive season.
The team at XP Gateshead are incredibly excited that this could be the year when we are approved to bring XP to Gateshead.
Our application was submitted to the Department for Education at the end of last year, but due to government departments closing down over the election period, we expect that this will lead to a delay in us receiving notification if our application has gone forward to the interview stage.
The next big step in our application is next week, when we will have a mock interview with the New Schools Network, the charity which advises on the creation of new academies. We are looking forward to getting further valuable feedback from them on the strength of our application.
Following this we will update you with announcements about further events to share information about the school.
Thanks once again for your support, and spread the word!