In September 2014, Holy Trinity became a Free School. A Free School in England is an independent, state-funded school which is free to attend but which is not controlled by the Local Authority. The school is governed by the Holy Trinity Academy Trust, a non-profit charitable trust that signed a funding agreement with the Secretary of State.
The school owes its origins to the Trinitarian order of Nuns, which dates from the 12th century and was founded by two French priests, John de Matha and Felix de Valois. Holy Trinity School has extensive facilities‚ including halls, libraries and information technology suites, which enable the sharing of facilities such as the swimming pool, science laboratories and the home economics room, as well as the outdoor sports courts. Being housed on one site ensures continuity of education between the main school sections of Primary School, Senior School and Sixth Form. This continuity is being increasingly recognised by Educators as a great advantage
In becoming a Free School Holy Trinity has the following features:
- An all-age school, from age 4 to age 18, on the same site. Children who enter at age 4 will be able to continue, if they and their parents wish, until their school education ends at age 18.
- Separate primary, secondary and sixth form sections.
- A small school, with a family atmosphere, starting with up to around 470 pupils in September 2014 and rising to a maximum of around 690, when full, in September 2019.
- Building on the school’s current success in national tests and public examinations, a strong emphasis on high expectations for all pupils and on academic rigour. All pupils will study at least one foreign language from age 4 onwards, have classes in philosophy, and follow a course leading to the academically demanding English Baccalaureate at age 16.
- A strong emphasis on pastoral care and on every pupil being known and individually looked after and cared for.
- An internationally-minded school, with strong links with other parts of the world. Educational links will continue with the other schools which are members of the global network (IES) to which the current independent school belongs. The school proposes, following authorisation, to offer the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years programme at ages 4-11, from September 2014 onwards.
- At sixth form the school will initially offer an A Level programme but prepare in due course, following consultation with parents and students, to introduce the two post-16 programmes available from the International Baccalaureate (IB). These programmes are the IB Diploma and the innovative IB Career-Related Certificate, a vocational course focusing on preparation for work in the creative industries. The choice between these programmes will allow the school to provide options for all aptitudes and abilities.
- School days and term times are based on those of the current school. These involve slightly longer school days, shorter school terms (180 days a year overall rather than the usual 190+), but also a higher number of taught hours overall than most state schools.