Devon gets first Free School

A new primary school for Plymouth has today been given the green light to open by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. Marine Academy Primary (MAP2) is the first free school in the county to get the go-ahead to open in September 2013.

A new primary school for Plymouth has today been given the green light to open by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

Marine Academy Primary (MAP2) is the first free school in the county to get the go-ahead to open in September 2013.

Free schools are all-ability, state-funded schools set up in response to demand. These schools have the same legal requirements as academies and enjoy the same freedoms and flexibilities to help them deliver education with a remit to drive up standards.

The new primary school will be purpose built on the Marine Academy Plymouth's site in St Budeaux and will add to the £10+m makeover already started.

Serving northwest Plymouth, the 420-place school will offer education from Reception to Year 6.

The successful application to open the school is a result of months of planning by the Marine Academy Trust which will set-up and manage the school.

Helen Mathieson, Principal of Marine Academy Plymouth, said:

"We are absolutely delighted to have secured permission to open a new school in Plymouth. There is a serious, well-documented lack of places in local primary schools and the opportunity to open a new school will dramatically improve this situation. It is an enormous opportunity for parents to have confidence in the education of their children, on one site, from nursery to university and they can be absolutely confident that the sponsors will ensure the very best of standards from start to finish.

"This school will enable us to create Plymouth's first, all-through state school; this means our students can start at 0 years old at Shining Stars Nursery, progress through the school via primary and secondary levels, and 6th Form with a direct pathway through to Plymouth University, our lead sponsor.

"The uniqueness of our proposal around our marine specialism and a complete focus on raising aspirations for our whole community was recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) and now we have a very exciting year ahead of us, working with parents to provide a school the whole community can be proud of.

"Marine Academy Trust and our sponsors, Plymouth University, Cornwall College and Plymouth City Council, are committed to our vision of a high quality, all-through university school."

The school will open in September 2013 with up to 30 pupils in each of two Reception classes and one Year 1 class.

In the run up to opening the Marine Academy Trust will be working closely with parents and the local community.

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