Breckland Free School plan ‘on track’

Brandon’s first free school is “on track” to open at the beginning of the next school year, according to organisers, but still needs as many parents as possible to express an interest.

Breckland Free School, which would replace the town’s middle school when it shuts in July next year, is expecting to gain funding approval from the Department for Education in December.

In the meantime, the team behind the application have called for people to show how much they want the new school to open.

SABRES Education Trust has reminded people they can fill in the black and white form on its website, or Suffolk County Council’s expression of interest form entitled Admission to the Proposed Free School in Brandon, which was sent to parents of children in years six, seven and eight along with the application form for schools already in existence.

Publicity office Alicia Rickards-Ottevanger said: “Breckland Free School is not in existence yet but, with enough evidence of demand from parents, a positive answer from the Secretary of State is much more likely when he makes his decision.”

At a public meeting last month, SABRES announced four organisations shortlisted to run Breckland Free School as Edison Learning, CfBT, The Breckland School Company and Swedish education provider, Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES).

Each organisation has set up and run schools previously and is in the process of submitting detailed plans for the opening of the school in September 2012.

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SABRES will announce its decision on the successful education provider in December. A public meeting will be held in January which will give people a chance to hear more about the plans for opening.

Chairman of SABRES, Gordon Warnes, said: “We’ve got a great building, commitment from local people and the support of the local authority. The four companies that we have shortlisted have all run schools before.

“They have demonstrated their ability to set up schools from scratch well within the timescales we are looking at.

“All the resources are in place to ensure that, following the decision in December, Breckland Free School is ready for its first intake of students.”

For more information and to demonstrate an expression of interest, visit the website at www.sabreseducational trust.com

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