A group of local parents, residents and teachers today announced that they have submitted a formal application to the Department for Education to open a new secondary free school. The next stage is for the group to be invited to attend an interview with the Department for Education. If they are successful, the free school is likely to open in 2021.
Ranil Jayawardena MP said: “You know I care passionately about education and will never stop fighting for improvements, whether that is a new free school for the future, or the additional £3.5 million per year I helped win for North East Hampshire schools—a fairer share of government funding for our primary and secondary schools.
He continued: “Free schools help enliven educational ecosystems and punch above their weight in Ofsted and progress ratings, so I will continue to call for one to come to our area to help drive up standards further, provide real parental choice and deliver new places in our growing area.
“If you would like to be part of our team, you can find out more and get in touch at ranil.uk/school.”
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 Ranil and his team’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 over 700 free school open or approved to open, creating more than 400,000 new school places when full. They are the top performing type of state school at key stages 1, 4 and 5. They are also more likely to be rated Outstanding by Ofsted.”