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head of new Haverhill free school ‘excited’ by challenge

Samuel Ward Academy principal Howard Lay (left) and Chris Russell, an architect from Blue Sky, look at the plans for the new Churchill Free School.

Samuel Ward Academy principal Howard Lay (left) and Chris Russell, an architect from Blue Sky, look at the plans for the new Churchill Free School.

A head teacher has been appointed to take charge of Haverhill’s first free school for students with special needs.

Georgina Ellis has taken on the role at the Churchill Free School, which opens next September in the grounds of Samuel Ward Academy and will cater for children with autism spectrum disorders from the ages of eight to 18.

As the designs for the new school went on show at Samuel Ward Academy last Thursday (Feb 7) for the first time, Mrs Ellis was there to meet some of those who went along to view them.

Mrs Ellis officially starts her new post on April 1, but she is already well known in the Haverhill area through her job as head teacher at Wickhambrook Primary School, a position she has held for almost six years.

For the foreseeable future Mrs Ellis intends to combine both jobs, and she is relishing the new challenge.

She said: “I’ve always had an interest in special needs and my own school has the dyslexic centre, so for me it just seems a natural thing to do both really.

“I’ve got a good team back at Wickhambrook who are very supportive and the governors are very supportive of me taking on another responsibility, which is vital to make it work.”

The Churchill Free School will have 18 pupils in its first year, rising up to 70 over four years.

Mrs Ellis added: “I think the priority for me will be to get good high quality teaching staff and a really good team, a team that has the right kind of skills and understanding.

“Then the priority will be that those pupils are happy, make good progress and are included in what’s going on in Samuel Ward, because the idea is that they will be integrated into Samuel Ward. It’s about meeting the needs of individual pupils.

“It is a very exciting project that we can’t wait to get started on.”

 

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