Successful Bid for the Trinity College

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Press Release re: Successful Bid for The Trinity College

Three local schools are delighted with the news that the Secretary of State has approved their application to establish a new school in the north of Colchester.


The partnership formed by The Gilberd School, Manningtree High School and Colchester County High School for Girls

submitted a joint bid to create a Free School on the site, which forms part of the development in the Northern Growth

Area. It learnt on Friday that approval has been given for the partnership to move to the next stage of the pre-opening

process, whilst there is still a great deal to do this is a significant step towards opening the school.

The Headteachers of the three schools, Linda Exley, Sally Morris and Gillian Marshall, announced that they were both

excited and proud to have been awarded this opportunity and felt that it was a fitting reflection of the strength of

schools across Colchester. They stated that it clearly showed the benefits of successful local schools working together

in order to use their knowledge and experience to secure the best possible standards of education for children in this

expanding area of Colchester.

The successful bid drew heavily on the established strengths and reputations of the three schools; serving their local

communities by providing excellence and challenge through high quality teaching and learning. The new Free School

will build on these. The College will be made up of a two form entry primary school and a five form entry secondary

school. The details of timing of the opening of the schools will be confirmed during further talks with the Department

for Education and the Essex Local Authority, in order to align with the Local Authority’s 10 year plan for Colchester.

The Trinity College name was chosen partly to reflect the link between the three schools but also to allude to the

challenge and academic aspiration that it will be based on. The school will be a co-educational, comprehensive Free

School that will provide outstanding educational provision for residents of the Northern Growth Area.

Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is incredibly demanding, so it is a testament to the hard work of The

Trinity College that they have been approved to open.

“This latest announcement means there are now more than 500 free schools open, or opening in the coming year,

providing communities across the country with an additional 330,000 places. Free schools are proving increasingly

popular with parents and are providing good new schools places for their local communities; outcomes for students

at existing free schools have been fantastic and the schools themselves are more likely to be judged Outstanding by

Ofsted than other state schools.”

Editors’ Notes:


· The Gilberd School, Brinkley Lane, Colchester, Essex, CO4 9PU – 01206 842211

·, @GilberdSchool, #gilberdschool

· For media enquiries, contact: Mr Mark Orrin, Assistant Headteacher

Free schools and the New Schools Network

· 77 new free schools were approved on 16/9/16. These schools will provide 46,000 new places.

· Free schools have already opened or been approved to open in every region of England. They are state funded

schools that are independent of local authority control; this provides beneficial freedoms such as the powers to

decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.

· In many ways, free schools are just like any other comprehensive school; they are free to attend and open to all

children; they do not make a profit; they do not select their pupils on the basis of their ability; free schools are

accountable to the Department for Education, Ofsted and financial auditors.

· New Schools Network (NSN) is a charity that works with groups of people who wish to set up new schools. NSN

has worked with more than seventy per cent of the free schools that have opened or been approved. To find

out more about NSN, visit