A consultation held on plans for a new secondary school in Huntingdonshire has been deemed ‘a success’.
Organiser Sarah Kerley said the meeting showed how ‘desperate’ the county was for a new secondary school and how the need for a Christian-ethos for the school was not outdated.
She said: “I was so shocked at the number of people we had turn up. We had so much positive feedback about the proposal, and a lot of great feedback about it being a Christian ethos which I was surprised about.
“It just showed us that there really is a real need for a school like this in Huntingdonshire and has given us confidence that it would be successful. It was very good to see the range of community representation and potential stakeholders in our school in attendance, including head teachers, local education authority representatives and local district councillors. It’s really promising.”
Consultation events were held on October 8-9 at Hemingford and at Stukeley Meadows.
The proposed new free school, the Cornerstone Free School, has reached an agreement with Fulham Boys School to operate under its umbrella.
At present, the team behind the proposed school is working with Cambridgeshire County Council to establish the best location for the site but it is understood that it will be somewhere in Huntingdonshire.
Miss Kerley said: “We know that there is a need for schools around the east of Cambridgeshire and the fenlands. Although schools in Cambridgeshire are oversubscribed, there are available places at other schools, which could be miles away from where they live. This way we can take that pressure off those schools and provide children with a school near their homes.”
Free schools are independent schools set up by parents, teachers and existing schools, under the Ofsted regime and funded by the Department of Education.
The committee for the proposed school has said there is demand for a free school in Huntingdonshire. They have said that currently, the only comprehensive, non-fee paying secondary school in Cambridgeshire that marries the ethos of Christian teachings with an outstanding curriculum is St Bede’s in Cambridge, which, they said, was over-subscribed.
The proposed application will be submitted to the Department for Education at the end of the month.
The committee is also asking for feedback on the new proposal. To comment visit: cornerstonefreeschool.org.uk.