Meeting to discuss first of three new primary schools for St Neots

Councillor Barry Chapman

Councillor Barry Chapman - Credit: Archant

A meeting is being held in St Neots next week to discuss plans to build the first of three new primary schools on the eastern edge of the town.

Latest estimates show another 5,200 homes are planned as part of St Neots Eastern Expansion, including another 1,648 dwellings on Love’s Farm.

A group of parents set up the Round House Capacity Campaign earlier this year when they discovered their children were being denied places at the school and were forced to find places at other schools.

St Neots Councillor Barry Chapman said this week: “I implore the county council to take more appropriate action to match primary provision in St Neots and Little Paxton with the real levels of housing and projected demand than continuing to underestimate the need. Developers must be asked to contribute more for provision as must the district council from its massive Community Infrastructure Levy.

The meeting is being held on September 27 at the Bargroves Centre to give people the opportunity to meet the organisations bidding to run the first school. In accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 2011, Cambridgeshire County Council is required to seek sponsors for the school to be run as either a free school or an academy.

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Applications to sponsor and operate the school have been received from The Diamond Learning Partnership Trust, which operates seven schools including The Round House Primary Academy at Love’s Farm, and the St Neots Learning Partnership Trust, which operates Longsands and Ernulf academies in St Neots.

Cllr Simon Bywater, chairman of the children and young people’s committee on the county council, said: “This is a great opportunity to meet the organisations who could be running this new school and hear more about their vision for it. We are committed to ensuring there is enough educational provision for children in Cambridgeshire and this new school will help to meet that need in St Neots.”

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On September 29, a panel of county councillors and officers will meet to interview representatives of the two trusts. A report will then be presented to the children and young people’s committee seeking approval to recommend the panel’s preferred sponsor to the Secretary of State for Education.

INFO: The meeting will be held in youth hall at The Bargroves Centre, Cromwell Road, and starts at 6.30pm.

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