Parents of children going to secondary school in September 2016 need to indicate interest soon
A plan to develop a free school in North Swindon offering all through education for pupils from the ages of 4 to 19 has been narrowed down by New College.
Following discussions with Swindon Council based on updated information regarding projected demand and capacity for primary school places across North Swindon, college planners decided that the bid for funding to the Department for Education (DfE) will now focus purely on a school for 11 to 18 year olds.
At a presentation at North Swindon Library on 2 April, New College principal Graham Taylor 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.
Parent Gill Ackling with her Year 4 son Ewan Russell and Graham Taylor.
"We’re told there are enough primary school places to meet current estimates so our bid will refocus on a secondary school with post-16 provision.
"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.”
New College planners are currently identifying sites in North Swindon where a secondary school can be built.
Mr Taylor said he hoped it would be possible to purchase enough land to accommodate a primary school and nursery so that future demand can be catered for, should it arise.
By September 2016 there is a projected shortfall of 200 secondary school places across North Swindon, but before the funding bid can be submitted to the Department for Education the college has to collect 375 names to show the school is required.
At this stage parents only have to indicate that they would apply to the school, it would not be a formal registration for a place.
Mr Taylor added: “We currently have 142 signatures and were hoping to apply for DfE backing in May. But it looks as if we’ll continue to collect signatures for the next few months so that we can make the application in September.”
See the advert below for more details or see newschoolfornorthswindon.org