New school is proving popular with parents

Headteacher of Sir Thomas Fremantle School, Winslow, Darren Lyon.'130404M-A304
Headteacher of Sir Thomas Fremantle School, Winslow, Darren Lyon.'130404M-A304

Winslow’s new secondary school is proving so popular with prospective parents that it is hoping to increase its Year 7 intake.

The first round of public consultation has finished and more than 120 people attended an open evening for Sir Thomas Fremantle School at the Winslow Centre last Wednesday.

Headteacher Darren Lyon said the number included both potential teachers and potential parents, some of whom signed their children up immediately afterwards.

Such has been the interest from parents, that the school is about to go out to consultation on increasing its intake for Year 7 from 60 to 80 pupils.

The school, which is set to open in September will be accomodated for its first two years in part of the Winslow Centre which used to house the Options day centre.

Discussions are going on with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and local bodies to identify a site for a new school building, to open in September 2015.

Once a site is agreed, the construction time for the modular building is only 10 months.

Three separate sites are being considered and My Lyon said: “The EFA is hoping to decide on a site by May and submit a planning application by September.”

Meanwhile, interim works, will be carried out at the Winslow Centre to allow it to be used as a school once more from September.

These include moving internal walls and adding partitioning, converting a kitchen to allow the teaching of food technology, creating a toilet block and upgrading changing room facilities.

This will also benefit other groups that use the centre, said Mr Lyon.

For the coming year, the school will share some space at the centre with the sixth form of Furze Down School, which is undergoing a major rebuild to its own building.

Last week, Sir Thomas Fremantle appointed its deputy headteacher, who comes from an Ofsted Outstanding local school.

The posts of department heads, foreign language teachers, business manager and bursar will be advertised after Easter.

All staff need to have been recuited by May half term.

Mr Lyon said the school has entered into an agreement with Bletchley Park-based IT provider Tribune to provide the school with “cutting-edge technology”.

And he added: “We’re talking to the centre about sharing the broadband with adult education users.

“The message that’s coming through loud and clear from the community is there is a lot we can contribute and we will be a real asset to the town.”