This letter was emailed today to all parents who have expressed interest in IGS: Durham. The contact details form referred to is not given here but will be sent to all parents who complete the "expression of interest" template on the website.
First of all, may I thank you for your expression of interest in your child joining The Independent Grammar School: Durham.
I am writing to all parents personally to explain our current situation regarding the opening of the school. As you will hopefully have seen from the school website (www.igsdurham.com) our opening has been delayed until January 2018 owing to the ongoing process of consideration by the Department for Education, who must approve all new schools before they can begin operating. We hope and expect that we will hear from them very soon, but you will appreciate that that is beyond our control. As soon as we hear, we will inform you immediately.
Assuming that we are approved to open, our first day will be Monday 8th January. Clearly, your children, assuming they are of school age, will be either starting a new school or continuing at their existing school in September. You may decide you are happy to keep them there, and we would certainly not wish to appear to be “poaching” children from other schools, but if you still wish your child to join us, bear in mind that children may change schools at any time during the school year. So, even if your child has started the school year elsewhere they may still come to us in January (or at any point after that) should you wish, and the transition will be relatively straightforward.
We have been delighted that, without advertising as such, we have had almost 100 expressions of interest. That confirms our view that there is a real demand for the kind of school we are proposing, and that we are likely to have more than enough children to make the school viable. If necessary, we are quite prepared to begin with very small numbers but it increasingly looks as if we won’t have to! So thank you for your support.
Some parents have expressed the concern that the school will be full and they will miss out on a place. Please rest assured that if you have submitted an expression of interest, we will view that as an application for a place when we allocate places on a first-come-first-served basis – so your place, should you choose to firm up your interest once we are approved, is guaranteed subject to the normal terms of admission (see the website for details).
You will see from the website that we are registering the school in the first year for Reception up to Year 4. Our aim is then to grow by one year every year thereafter – so, for example, in September 2018 we aim to have a new Reception class and the Year 4 children will move up to a new Year 5 class. I realise that that will disappoint a number of parents whose children are older than Year 4. I hope you will understand that a line had to be drawn somewhere.
If any of you have yet to visit the school, please feel free to email me, or call me on 07984 619739, and we can make an appointment. I and my colleagues will be delighted to meet you. In the meantime, we will be arranging an evening reception in Durham very soon and will be issuing invitations to all existing prospective parents as well as any others who might be interested. That will give us the opportunity to explain in more detail what kind of school we will be, and give you the chance to ask questions, meet other parents, view curriculum materials and talk to staff and Board members. We will let you know details nearer the time.
May I ask you to complete and return the short form given below? This is to help us to be quite clear about names, dates of birth etc. for your children, as well as your full contact details. This does not commit you to anything and is not part of the admission process. Please print the form, complete and return to: C J Gray, Principal, IGS: Durham, Claypath, Durham, DH1 1RH. That would be very helpful.
Please do contact me if you wish to discuss any aspect of the school.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer,
C J Gray
24 August 2017