Portishead free school plan through to next stage
By Prue_Reid | Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 17:05
PARENTS hoping to open a free school in Portishead to deal with a lack of class places in the town have been told their application has made it through to the next stage.
The pupil numbers don't add in Portishead
An application drawn up by the Village Quarter Parents Action Group and educational visionary Marcus Orlovsky for a new free school in the town was submitted to the Department of Education in January and has now been selected by the Department of Education to go through to the interview interview stage.
Members of the action group are to travel to the Department of Education (DfE)in London on Wednesday, March 13, to meet with officials to explain in more detail their plans.
If the plans get the green light funding for the new school will be made available by the DfE.
Village Quarter Parents Action group spokeswoman, Laura Haseldine, said: "We are delighted to have made it through to the interview stage."
Sites across the town, including unused office blocks at Newfoundland Way, are being considered as a site for the new school.
The school would open in September 2014, initially with 60 places for reception class students.
There would also 30 class places for year one and year two students..
It is hoped that over the years the school would grow, eventually offering 420 additional class places for students in the town.
A special trust - the Village Quarter School Trust - has already been set up which would run and administer the school, appoint staff and agree the curriculum.
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.