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Free school takes shape

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

The first ever head teacher for the new Harperbury Free School was announced last month. My Radlett & Shenley News caught up with Martin Blain to find out more about his plans for the school. Mr Blain, a graduate of Cambridge University, is leaving his role of Deputy Head at nearby Immanuel College in Bushey to take on the position of Founding Head at Harperbury. Mr Blain is no stranger to the hard work of starting a free school as he recently set one up himself, Alma Primary in Finchley. He said: “I’ve tried to vary my experience. Immanuel College is a private school and I have really enjoyed working there, I’ve also worked at a school in Islington and set up a free school myself. As long as I’ve been a teacher I’ve wanted to set up a school. “I thought the position at Harperbury had my name on it. The governors are the most creative people and I know how much energy it takes to set up a school like this.” Mr Blain said Harperbury will be a tech-based school and will follow the RSA Opening Minds ideas. There will be regular tutor groups and a “skills based curriculum” aimed at getting youngsters ready for work as well as getting them through their exams. Mr Blain said that ICT will be an important part of school life, with each child having their own piece of technology to use throughout the day, whether it is an iPad or another device. He said: “Technology is now an essential part of working life and we want our pupils to be prepared for this. “The Governors and I are committed to using cutting edge ideas and technology to create this ground-breaking school for our children.” Mr Blain said the children will also complete their homework on the school site before going home. Harperbury Free School will serve families from Radlett, Shenley, London Colney, Park Street, Bricket Wood and Borehamwood. It is hoped that the school will be located at the former Harperbury Hospital site. Parents and prospective students will be able to meet Mr Blain at Harperbury’s open meeting on October 2. The meeting runs from 6pm to 9pm at London Colney Community Centre, Caledon Road, AL2 1PU. Presentations by the Head and Governors will take place at 6.30pm and 7.45pm. For more information on Harperbury Free School visit  

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