Staff at Shropshire’s first free school have revealed they have smashed their pupil target for their first academic year as they prepare to open their doors next week.
Officials at Barrow 1618, which lies near Broseley, had hoped to attract 30 students for their first intake – but 40 have signed up.
The new school year starts on September 5.
Final preparations are being made ahead of the new school year and headteacher Andrew Taylor said the response from the local community had been ‘enormously positive’.
The school was forced to close after being named on a Shropshire Council hitlist as part of major cost-cutting measures to combat falling pupil numbers in the county.
But local enthusiasts have fought to reopen the school independent of local authority control.
Selina Graham, chairman of the governors, said an enormous amount of care had been taken to ensure the school was ready for the start of term.
She said: “We had a target of attracting 30 pupils for the first year but the number has risen to around 40.
“We have a superb team of staff who are led by Andrew and we are delighted that they have all very much bought into the school’s ethos.”
Mr Taylor said: “We believe we are offering something new and incredibly exciting at Barrow.”
Barrow 1618, which is state-funded but self-governed, sits on the site of the village’s old primary school whose closure was announced in 2010.