New hope for school dream

Carol Clare
Carol Clare
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Another bid is being made for a Spanish bilingual free school in Spalding.

A new proposer group has come together – led by the former CEO of The Phoenix Family of Schools Trust (PFOS), Carol Clare – after the original application was withdrawn by PFOS last year.

Two weeks ago, the Spalding Guardian asked ‘Why has Mrs Clare vanished?’, following her suspension after a claim she had suggested falsifying forecasted pupil numbers for a school due to open in Spalding.

But we can now reveal Mrs Clare resigned from her position as CEO and has been working with Invicta to reignite the previous application and open a new school in September 2015.

Mrs Clare, who has 14 years’ experience of running successful schools in Lincolnshire, said: “I am passionate about providing a bilingual education but also about fulfilling my promise to parents. I felt deeply for the parents who had committed to the school and were disappointed and want to give them the opportunity for their children to attend.

“Other countries are way ahead of us in bilingual education. Research shows the more languages children speak the more they can take on – and they do better overall. Being able to speak another language gives children a massive start in life. Spanish – the world’s second most popular language – was the obvious choice.”

Mrs Clare has brought together a team of people with wide-ranging skills and expertise. These include professionals in education, finance, HR, IT, marketing, Government partnerships and administration to ensure that the application is strong.

With existing schools in Spalding full to capacity and with a shortfall of places, Mrs Clare said the proposed school will bring a unique offering to the area. If it goes ahead, the curriculum will be taught both in English and Spanish and cultural aspects from the Spanish-speaking world will be integrated into everyday life at the school; including story-telling, festivals and cookery. The aim is to provide pupils with a well-rounded and outstanding education.

Mrs Clare said: “I’ve brought together a really strong group of individuals who want to see local children and the wider community benefit from a bilingual education. Amongst the group is Patricia Tarrant Brown. Mrs Tarrant Brown is our bilingual education advisor, she has experience in supporting and helping set up new schools both here in the UK and in Spain.

“We’ve identified two possible central locations for our school. These two key factors give us a tangible and solid base for our proposal. I hope that they will put their trust in me and my team to make sure that this school opens its doors in September 2015.”

Interested parents can visit a Facebook page by searching Invicta Bilingual Academy, or emailing atin