"Free School" For Peterborough?

19 January 2011, 06:00

Plans are being drawn up for a new secondary school in Peterborough.

It would have room for around 850 students aged from 11 to 18.

If the plans are agreed, the new school will be developed on the site of the former Hereward Community College in Reeves Way.

The new school would be a "free school", which is a government initiative to set up schools that are outside of local council control.

A "free school" is a school set up by charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and parents.

One could be set up in Peterborough because of the growing numbers of secondary-school aged pupils.

Councillor John Holdich, cabinet member for education, skills and university, said:  "The decision to close Hereward Community College and merge it with the Deacon's School and John Mansfield School to create the Thomas Deacon Academy was announced in 2003 when Peterborough had 2,212 unused secondary school places - nearly 13 per cent of the total.

However, the combined impact of local growth and inward migration over recent years will mean that by 2015 we will have 2,568 Year 7 pupils moving up to secondary school.

If we do nothing, the number of secondary age pupils will exceed the available places.

Arranging for a new school to operate in the former Hereward Community College buildings under the management of a successful education provider will ensure we continue to offer high quality opportunities for our youngsters to learn and develop successfully."

Councillors in Peterborough will discuss the plans on Monday evening.