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Free school appoints its first head
THE headteacher of North Oxfordshire’s first free school has been appointed.
David Castles has been appointed as principal of £11.9m Heyford Park Free School, which is due to open in September 2013.
Mr Castles, who lives in Bicester, is currently the assistant head at Aylesbury Grammar School.
He is due to leave that position at the end of term and from January will concentrate on getting the free school, at Upper Heyford, ready to welcome its first intake of pupils in reception and year seven.
The school will be housed in the Grade II listed officers’ mess building at the former Upper Heyford US Airforce base.
Mr Castles has previously taught geography and humanities at Reading School, in Berkshire, and The Marlborough School, in Woodstock.
He said: “I believe the new school will ensure the highest standard of education for pupils and I share the same aspirations that parents and their children have for the free school. In particular, the opportunity to help guide children from their first steps in education through to securing a place at their university of choice or their dream job is very exciting.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to meeting parents and their children in the coming weeks and months.”
Nathan Jones, a governor for the Heyfordian School Trust, said: “This is a huge step for us and we’re thrilled to have such a passionate and experienced principal at Heyford Park Free School.
“David will be a huge asset to the school and it’s clear that the parents and pupils are as excited as we are about the appointment.
“We’re confident that David will deliver the best possible education to our pupils from the outset and will help create an exciting, inspirational and welcoming learning environment.”
The school aims to take 840 pupils from age four to 19 by 2019, and will be open to youngsters from Bicester and the surrounding area.
It was one of 10 all-through schools in the country given approval in July. It is being set up by the Heyfordian School Trust, made up of parents, residents, education specialists, businesses and Heyford Park owner the Dorchester Group.