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In May 2011, a group of 5 local residents met and decided to make use of the recently announced ‘Free Schools’ model in the Academies Act 2010. The act allows for a group to petition government to allow a new school to come into existence providing the group can meet certain strict criteria. Foremost of these was demand / need for a school and capacity from the proposer group to deliver the project. Subsequently the group submitted a 241-page document to the Department for Education to allow Sandymoor Free School to be established.

In October 2011, the proposer group had passed all the tests, so Sandymoor School moved one step closer to founding, being designated as a school in ‘pre-opening phase’. This allowed for the recruitment of a principal, a statutory public consultation, sourcing and finalising the location and the engagement of contractors to work on the actual building itself.

In March 2012, the school’s first Principal was appointed. Andrew Green-Howard was selected and joined the team on a part-time secondment from Bolton School to ensure the school was ready to open.

By July 2012, building work had begun on the school’s temporary site on Otterburn Street in the heart of Sandymoor.

Sandymoor School then opened its doors to the first students on the 3rd September 2012. In August 2013, the temporary buildings were then extended to accommodate the extra students joining in September 2013.

In August 2013, planning permission was granted for the Main building, just 300m away from the temporary site and construction began in September 2013. The main building was completed in August 2014, with our students starting the academic year 2014-15 in the brand new building.