New Wisbech school could be chosen for government funding for areas in need of more school places

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech, which is also under the Brooke Weston Trust. The trust hope that their new school will be under a government initiative. Picture: ARCHANT.

Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech, which is also under the Brooke Weston Trust. The trust hope that their new school will be under a government initiative. Picture: ARCHANT.

Archant

They already educate 1400 primary and secondary school children in Wisbech but that number could swell if the Brooke Weston Academy (BWA) wins approval for a new free school.

BWA is hoping to be one of 30 chosen under new government funding for areas that are in need of more school places and where educational standards are low.

The school, set to specialise in science and maths, will run alongside their existing academies in the town.

Trust bosses are out to consultation on their plans and hope to open it by Christmas 2020.

Coincidentally Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to invest heavily in free schools between now and 2023.

"Free schools help to ensure children are getting the best education possible - offering exceptional teaching, strong discipline and providing families with more choice," said the Prime Minister.

The BWT say that it is a "once in a generation" opportunity to "shape the educational landscape of Wisbech".

Dr Andrew Campbell, chief executive officer of the BWT, said: "Education in Fenland is a top priority and the trust has already demonstrated its commitment to both Thomas Clarkson Academy and Peckover primary school; both have very clear plans and aspirations for the future."

"We are inviting everyone from the local community to submit their views via our online survey."

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Sigrun Olafsdottir, chief operating officer of New Schools Network, said: "The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous and time consuming, so it is a testament to Brooke Weston Trust's hard work that they have reached this stage.

"This is particularly true in this round of free school applications, which explicitly targets areas of greatest need.

"There are more than 700 free schools open or approved to open, creating more than 400,000 new school places when full."

Free schools are new schools, set up by parents, teachers and charities in response to the demand from the local community.

More than 40 per cent of free schools are in the 30 per cent most deprived communities in the country.

The Wave 14 criteria continue to focus on areas where there is both a need for more school places and low education standards.

The consultation process is open until October 14 and the survey can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/brookewestontrustwisbechfreeschool

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