Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, attended the official opening by Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, of the All Saints Junior Free School on Friday 21st October in All Saints Church Hall. All Saints Juniors is Reading’s only Free School and is managed by CfBT Schools Trust.
The Church Hall was packed for the ceremony and, along with parents of pupils, attendees included Neil McIntosh and Wendy Woodcock, Chief Executive and Director of Schools and Nurseries at CfBT Education Trust respectively, Dorothy Yuille of the All Saints Action Group (ASAG), the school’s headteacher Susannah Daniel and teacher Natalie Needham.
The first term started at All Saints Junior School, which is temporarily located in All Saints Church Hall, on 6th September when Ms Daniel took charge of one of the first Free Schools to open in England under the coalition Government’s programme for independent, state-funded education. The opening of the school marks the end of a long campaign over several years by ASAG to redress the shortage of school places in Reading, in particular West Reading, where pupils of All Saints Infants School lacked continuity of education with no designated junior school to feed into.
Alok said: “I was delighted to attend the official opening of All Saints Junior School. The school is a triumph for the local community, which has worked so hard to make it a reality, and the school provides much needed school places in Reading. I look forward to seeing the school in its permanent premises at the start of the next academic year.”
Photo: Alok at the official opening with All Saints Junior School pupils, the Mayor of Reading, Neil McIntosh, Lord Hill, Dorothy Yuille, Natalie Needham and Susannah Daniel