A step forward for free school scheme

Artist's impression of Heyford Park Free School
Artist's impression of Heyford Park Free School

A TRUST behind plans for the Bicester area’s first free school has been invited to the next stage of the application process by the Department for Education.

Representatives of the Heyfordian School Trust were due to sit down to an interview with officials on Wednesday this week over their plans for a free school in Heyford Park, Upper Heyford.

Speaking before the meeting, Nathan Jones, governor for The Heyfordian School Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be invited to interview, and while it doesn’t guarantee the free school will be approved, it’s an important milestone for us.

“We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has continued to offer us support and encouragement for the school – it’s been their hard work and engagement that has helped us put together such a strong proposal.

“We’re confident our plans are robust and that we will be able to effectively demonstrate what this school could offer during the interview.”

The ‘all-through’ school could provide up to 840 places, for children from age four up to 18, by 2019.

The application will be considered further by the Department for Education, and the outcome will be known early this summer.

The trust hopes to open the school in September next year.

Announced by Michael Gove in 2010, free schools are taxpayer-funded and non-selective, but are outside the control of local authorities.

The first free schools opened in the autumn last year.

Parents can visit http://heyfordparkfreeschool.org/ for more information on the Heyford Park school proposals.