Community needed by Chichester Free School team

The team behind the Chichester Free School bid is urging members of the community to take part in a survey.

Led by Helen Humphry, it wants to open a non faith-based and all-through school in September 2013 to serve families in Chichester and Arun.

The team, made up of teachers, parents and education experts, lost its first bid to open for the autumn term 2012 and is now preparing another application to be submitted by the middle of next month.

It is currently working on community engagement and curriculum planning and is asking people to vote yes in principle to the school in order to secure pupil numbers.

The school does not yet have a site but Mrs Humphry said the search was continuing.

“We have been assured by central government that a lack of premises is not an immediate show-stopper,” she said. “Still, it would be wonderful to secure a site.

“We need approximately 15 acres for school buildings and playing fields.

“Right now, the top priority is for more people to know about what we are doing and what difference Chichester Free School can make to the local communities around Chichester and Bognor Regis.

“That is why January is our month to head for the crowds, hold public meetings and meet all the major stakeholders.”

Mrs Humphry said it had received many positive responses from members of the public regarding its proposal.

“We just need that to continue, for families and other members of the community to show their support.

“Without those yes votes there will be no school, no matter how good the proposal is.

“This project exists because local parents want more choice, particularly at the secondary school level, so when government gave the go ahead for people wanting to give something back, we simply came together and committed to solving this community issue.”

The deadline is Monday, February 6. See for more details and to complete the survey.