11:32AM, Saturday 21 January 2012
The team behind plans for a multi-million pound free school in the borough have said it could attract parents who usually favour private education.
An application for funding to build a £20m school on the old Holyport Manor site is due to be submitted to the Department of Education next month by the five-strong team which includes the borough’s deputy leader Cllr Simon Dudley and two Eton College teachers.
Reporter Francis Batt spoke to the five men and women, who will form the governing body if the plans get the go-ahead.
Simon Dudley, 47, lives in Maidenhead and is deputy leader of the Royal Borough representing Maidenhead Riverside.
He works as a banker and is married to Sue, a trained teacher who is also part of the team applying to set up the school. The couple have four children.
Simon, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: "We have been talking about this for 18 months and the need for another secondary school in the borough has become increasingly obvious as the demographics of the area change and demand for school places increases.
"Sixteen per cent of children in the Royal Borough go to private schools. But in the current economic climate some parents are going to find it tough. We hope we can provide an answer."
Sue Dudley is a trained teacher who got a first in maths and education at university.
She is already a governor at Furze Platt School where she was also educated.
The mother-of-four is a great believer in 'extended day' education. She hopes to see facilities provided for children until 5.30pm at the proposed school, enabling them to do supervised homework as well as Saturday morning lessons. The 48-year-old said the school will only become a reality if enough parents support it. She added: "Without that support we can't get off the starting blocks."
Liam Maxwell is an ex-councillor on the Royal Borough, who gave up his position when he was seconded into the Coalition government's cabinet office where he was made responsible for the public sector's IT department.
The 43-year-old is married with three children and is head of computing at Eton College where he also lived. He worked in IT for many years before returning to his first love - teaching, at Eton in 2004. His first job was actually teaching guerrillas in Zimbabwe, just returned from the Civil War.
He said: "That was real experience of real life. I was teaching one man ballistics and he told me there was not much he needed to learn about that as he had already trained as a sniper."
Emma Goble, 39 lives in Old Windsor and is director of studies at St George's School, where the choristers at Windsor Castle are educated.
It has provided an unbroken line of boy choristers to sing in St George's Chapel since 1352. The school also teaches non-singing pupils but is famed for its musical atmosphere with most pupils learning an instrument and girls taking lessons in dance. Emma is married with two children.
William Moore, 47 is a housemaster at Eton College where he lives. He is married with three children.
After studying engineering at Imperial College he taught at a school in Dorset before coming to Eton in 1995 where he teaches maths and is a sports coach.
He took a sabbatical to teach at a school in Tanzania before returning to Eton.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.