A plan to develop a bid for a free school serving North Swindon that offered continuous, all through education for pupils from the ages of 4 to 19 has been narrowed down by New College.
This will be part of a discussion at a public meeting on 2 April – see details below.
In a statement college spokeswoman Sophie Moore writes: ‘After several weeks of consultation with local education leaders and Swindon Borough Council, and after receiving new updated information regarding projected demand and capacity, college planners have regretfully decided that the bid will now focus purely on a secondary school with post-16 provision for children aged 11 to 18.
As existing primary schools have increased their entry numbers and a new primary school for Tadpole Farm in September, there are apparently sufficient primary school places available in North Swindon from 2016, for the forseable future.
If our free school bid is successful, we hope that we may be able to purchase enough land to eventually build and open a primary school on the same site and we will be constantly reviewing population numbers and forecast demand, but the primary school component will not now go ahead as part of the bid to be submitted this year. We will be announcing this development officially this week and revising our website and marketing material accordingly.’
Graham Taylor, New College principal, pictured, said: “We’ve always said that the bid for the Free School should be based on demand in terms of population growth and house building plans.
"We’ve now received information that there will be enough primary school places to meet current estimates so our bid will refocus on a secondary school with post-16 provision for 11 to 18 year olds.
"We are sorry to disappoint those parents with pre-school age children who had hoped for a school with all-through education but would like to thank them for their support. We will continue to run the campaign to generate signatures of support from parents of those wanting secondary or post-16 education locally”
For anyone, who wants further information about the bid, representatives of New College and residents from North Swindon involved in the Free School bid will be available to discuss the project at a community information evening on Wednesday 2 April, from 6pm, at North Swindon Library at North Swindon District Centre.
Find out more about the bid at www.newschoolfornorthswindon.org