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Royal and Derngate Theatre announces plans for free school

31/10/2016 Joanna

A theatre in Northampton is applying to become the first theatre in England to open a free school.

The Royal and Derngate Theatre has announced plans to open a non-selective secondary comprehensive, with all core subjects to be taught as part of a curriculum that provides a focus on the arts, reports BBC News.

A professional team of teachers will be hired to lead the school, which is being introduced as a means of addressing a perceived marginalisation of arts-related subjects in many other school curricula.

Support for the project is being sought from the New Schools Network, a charity that works with groups that wish to set up free schools. The next step of the process will be to hold public consultations to gather opinions from local stakeholders on the plans.

Sarah Pearson, director of the New Schools Network, said: "Groups like the Royal and Derngate, which are so embedded in their communities, are well-positioned to bring teachers, existing schools and other experts together to create schools that really meet the needs of local children.

"Lots of people are concerned about the arts in schools and I'm very excited about their initial ideas to drive access to the arts for all."

The free schools concept allows community groups, universities, academy trusts or business organisations to establish their own educational establishments with the support of state funding.

The Royal and Derngate Theatre is in the early stages of a process that 
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