Free school expands as move is delayed

Chichester Free Shcool
Chichester Free Shcool

A PRINCIPAL has said parents are happy with his school’s solution after it was hugely oversubscribed.

Chichester Free School principal Guy Martyn said a planned new build at the school’s temporary site will stop its delayed move becoming a problem.

He said: “We’ve got a solution to what could have been a problem - in terms of location - but all our parents are happy that the most important thing isn’t the buildings but the people and the people here are making the school work.”

As of September 2015, a new Year 4 will bridge the school’s only academic year gap after it received more than four times as many applicants as places for Year 7 and Reception.

The school, which opened two years ago, is temporarily based in the Courtyard Vinnetrow Business Centre, in Runcton.

Governors had hoped it would move to its permanent home at the Carmelite Convent, Hunston, this September.

However the move has been delayed until September 2017 as the Education Funding Agency is still seeking the appropriate contractor for the job.

Speaking about the over subscription, Mr Martyn said: “We strongly felt that we needed to answer this demand and help to ease the burden of many parents who are struggling to juggle having children at multiple schools.

“In our second year of operation, this is a truly remarkable outcome and we are delighted that parents are seeing us as a real option to the other established secondary schools in our area.”

In order to cater for 570 pupils - up from 360 - at its current venue, the school has applied for permission to build a 967sqm unit in the playing field which will include six classrooms and five specialist classrooms for GCSE pupils.

Mr Martyn said: “With the exciting expansion of the Senior phase into their purpose-built GCSE modular buildings, we will have the space in the main school building to have a Year 4 classroom with no consequence to the other students.”

SCHOOL PLACES RACE

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BUDGET BATTLE

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