It’s D-Day for Bedford Free School as students pick up their GCSEs for the first time today (Thursday).
The spotlight is on the school, which opened in September 2012, as it’s the first of its kind to see students sit the exams.
Principal Mark Lehain, who had already seen the results when the T&C spoke to him yesterday but under strict exam rules had to stay tight lipped, said: “We are really excited because we are hoping it is going to be the reward for all the hard work that the students have put in over the last two-and-a-half years and all the hard work the school staff have put in.
“A lot of parents have shown faith in us and we feel it has paid off.
“We feel this is a really great start for the school and all the hard work has paid off.
“It will set the kids that chose us really well in their next steps in life.
“We are letting our babies go. They are fledglings leaving the nest.”
Around 90 students picked up their results from the Cauldwell Street school today and their marks could hush critics who originally opposed the free school including Bedford Borough Council and other local secondary schools.
Talking to the T&C earlier this year Mr Lehain said the school team was nervous but confident about what results day would bring and added that ‘massive strides’ had been made since Ofsted rated the school as requiring improvement in February 2014 - little more than a year after it had opened.
Free schools were introduced under former education secretary Michael Gove and are directly funded by the government and run by teachers and parents.
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