Gielgud Academy wants to open free school at Haywards Heath college campus

Sir John Gielgud ANL-141021-114011001

Sir John Gielgud ANL-141021-114011001

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Relatives of actor Sir John Gielgud want to open a free school at Central Sussex College’s Haywards Heath campus.

The school, which would cater for children aged five to 18, would specialise in the performing arts.

Central Sussex College at Haywards Heath

Central Sussex College at Haywards Heath

The Gielgud Academy (GAPA) already runs classes from the site on Saturdays and in the evening.

Suzanne Gielgud, who is married to Sir John’s great-nephew Piers, said: “The Gielgud Academy proposes to expand from its current position as a part-time vocational school, to become a Government funded free school.

“GAPA proposes to run as an all-through school, inclusive of primary, secondary and sixth-from provision, offering children aged five to 18, an excellent academic training with a specialism in the performing, visual, creative arts and media.”

She added: “There is a recognised need for more primary and secondary provision in the area, and a specific need for sixth form provision as there will be none in September 2017 unless a solution is found and put in place.”

GAPA’s interest in the £30million building, in Harlands Road, follows hot on the heels of Warden Park Academy.

Headteacher Jonathan Morris said: “We would, of course, be delighted to be able to use the purpose-built sixth-form building and see this as by far the best option in order to realise our proposal for an area-wide sixth-form.

“At the moment we are working towards this aim. Beyond that we would not rule anything in or out.”

He added: “The current building is an amazing facility but, as has widely been reported, it has a large mortgage on it. The Department for Education will need to ‘manage this’ if the building is to remain in education.”

Central Sussex College announced in April that it would be closing the campus in 2017 as it could not manage its £25million mortgage debt.

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