Site for new secondary school to be discussed

Darren Lyon, headteacher of the new Sir Thomas Fremantle School at The Winslow Centre, Winslow. 130131M-A243

Darren Lyon, headteacher of the new Sir Thomas Fremantle School at The Winslow Centre, Winslow. 130131M-A243

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Winslow Town Council is setting up a meeting with the Education Funding Agency over where the town’s new secondary school will be sited.

As we reported earlier this month, the Sir Thomas Fremantle Secondary School is one of 102 Free Schools given the green light by the Department for Education to open this year.

Its headteacher, Darren Lyon, has been in post since January 1.

The school will be based in part of the Winslow Centre for its first two years.

After that, the expectation is that the Education Funding Agency – the delivery agency for the Department for Education – will fund a brand new school building on the edge of Winslow.

Winslow Town Council considered potential sites for the new build in its meeting last Thursday, and subsequently wrote to the EFA.

In her letter, town clerk Bridget Bradford told the EFA that Winslow Town Council is currently in the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

And she urged the agency to enter into a dialogue with the town council before making a commitment to any particular site.

She said the town council was generally supportive of the provision of new secondary school premises in Winslow but is anxious that such a major development does not prejudice or even predetermine aspects of the neighbourhood plan.

The town council has already prepared an outline of potential development sites in Winslow, and Mrs Bradford requested an early meeting between the EFA and the town council’s Neighbourhood Plan steering group to discuss possible sites.

She said the town council would not want to be in a position where it was obliged to oppose a planning application because it did not meet with the aspirations of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Town mayor Llew Monger told the Advertiser this week the town council had heard back from the EFA and a meeting would be arranged shortly.

He said: “They’re very keen to meet with the council to discuss the site options in early March. ”

Sir Thomas Fremantle School’s public consultation is available online at www.sirthomasfremantle.org until March 11.

A drop-in session is being held at the Winslow Centre on Wednesday, February 27, from 7pm to 9pm.