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UK's first free school for Catholics opens

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

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Just weeks after securing Government funding, the UK's first Catholic free school for secondary education has opened in Camborne.

St Michael's Catholic School, which was formerly St Michael's Small School in Truro, welcomed its first pupils to the new site yesterday.

Based at the former Camborne Girls Grammar School at Trevu the school eventually hopes to teach 300 pupils.

Principal Neil Anderson said: "It's great to be here and welcoming our first pupils into the school.

"The last couple of weeks have been fraught with some testing moments but everyone has worked incredibly hard in the short space of time since we knew we had the funding.

"Teachers have been rolling their sleeves up to ensure the school is ready and it's fantastic that the final touches have been put in place.

"The teaching staff are excited about being here and having the opportunity to develop the facility."

Art teacher, Walter Zimmerman, even got the roller out to help the contractors decorate the art room.

The first pupil through the school entrance was 11 year-old Peter Firbank from Camborne.

His mother, Kathryn, said: "We're thrilled that a small secondary school has opened in Camborne. St Michael's will be a real asset to the community and we knew we wanted our son to come here as soon as we heard about it."

The school has attracted pupils from Newquay, Wadebridge, Bodmin, St Austell, Truro and Penzance. A reception was held on Friday evening for supporters and local organisations, including Camborne Chamber of Commerce and Camborne BID.

Camborne and Redruth MP, George Eustice, also paid a visit to the site and said: "I am delighted to welcome the opening of St Michael's free school which gives parents even greater choice and will increase the fantastic provision of top quality free education that is available in the Camborne and Redruth area."

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