School views wanted in Brandon

People will be given the chance to share their views on plans for a new secondary school in Brandon at a public consultation tomorrow (Thursday).

Sabres Educational Trust has outlined plans for a free school in Brandon to accommodate 500 pupils aged 11 to 16 on the site of Breckland Middle School, which will close in 2012.

If the proposal is successful, it will open its doors in September 2012 with years seven, eight and nine, reaching its full capacity in 2014.

Chairman of Sabres, Gordon Warnes, said: “This is a real and exciting opportunity for us to set up an outstanding school in Brandon. Breckland Free School will be a true community school where everyone is involved in helping our young people to reach their full potential.

“Our priority is to ensure that these proposals meet the needs of local people.”

Sabres is also seeking an education provider, an organisation which has operated other schools for at least five years, to run the proposed Breckland Free School on its behalf. The provider will be accountable to Sabres, which will remain the legal body responsible for the school.

Sabres Educational Trust was set up by residents, parents, governors and teachers who believe that a school is a vital element of community life in and around Brandon.

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As the free school is still in the feasibility stage, parents are being asked to express an interest in sending their child to the school, as well as completing the local authority admissions form (CAF1) and choosing existing local authority schools.

Parents will be able to accept a place at Breckland Free School regardless of whether they choose another local authority school on the CAF1 form, so long as a funding agreement for the school has been signed with the Department for Education by that time.

The public meeting will be held tomorrow at 7pm at Breckland Middle School. All are welcome.

Feedback from the meeting and questionnaires will be gathered and used as evidence for the Department for Education as part of the approval process.

The formal consultation process on Breckland Free School closes on November 3.

For more information, visit the website at