Parents invited to free school meeting in Portishead

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By Prue_Reid | Thursday, December 13, 2012, 19:18

PARENTS are being invited to a public meeting in Portishead to find out more about plans to open a free school in the town.

The Village Quarter Parents Action Group – set up to look at ways to solve the crisis with lack of school places in the town – has appointed education expert Marcus Orlovsky to drive plans for a free school forward.

Mr Orlovski  will be giving a presentation on the proposals at Portishead Youth Centre on Saturday, December 15, from 10.30am.

It is hoped the free school, which could be located in unused office blocks at Newfoundland Way, will cater for up to 420 students and open in September 2013.

A proposal is being drawn up by Mr Orlovky, his team and local parents from the action group which needs to be submitted by to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) by January 4 for its consideration.

If approved, funding for the free school would have to be sought from the Government  a special trust set up to run and administer the school, appoint staff and agree the curriculum.

The school, which is also hoped to have a nursery/pre-school attached to it, would be open to all students in the town.

Mr Orlovsky, a founder member and director of educational change consultants Bryanston Square - was one of three organisations to put forward a bid to open a free school in the town.

The move to look at setting up a free school in Portishead follows mounting concern about the lack of class places in the growing town.

This year more than 20 students failed to get a place at a primary school in the town, with some students now travelling to class in Pill or Clevedon.

Schools in Portishead have already been expanded since 2010 but statistics have revealed that there will be a shortfall of 103 school primary spaces in the town by 2015.

If the free school plan gets the green light, it would be the first school of its kind to open in North Somerset.

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