Plans for new secondary school in St Neots back on track

Advantage Schools hoping to build  a new secondary school in St Neots.

Advantage Schools hoping to build a new secondary school in St Neots. - Credit: ADVANTAGE SCHOOLS

A plan to build a new secondary school in St Neots has been approved by the Department of Education.

The news comes just two years after The Hunts Post reported plans for a new free school had been "paused" due to difficulties in finding a suitable site.

The Hunts Post has now learned that Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and the Department for Education (DfE) have been in regular talks regarding housing and population growth in St Neots and the plans have been rebooted.

The county council, had originally been of the opinion that Longsands and Ernulf schools would have sufficient places to cater for nearly 1,000 extra young people expected to come from the new homes being built in St Neots.

But a feasibility study carried out in 2020 to consider all the options showed more secondary school places would be needed. The DfE has advised ministers to proceed with the St Neots Free School Project. Officers from CCC now plan to meet with the DfE to discuss the project.

Jim Boyle, a St Neots' parent who has been campaigning to have more choice in the town for secondary school places said it was "brilliant news for the young people of St Neots".

"A third secondary school run by an academy with a superb track record will offer a genuine choice in St Neots. There are still many hurdles to overcome but the town has been given a second chance. The onus is now on our councillors, particularly at district and county level, to ensure that the town does miss out on this opportunity."

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Although it is in the early stages, the project for the new school looks like it will be run by Advantage Schools, who run the Bedford Free School.