Progress towards new Littleport secondary school made as council begins search for sponsors

Cllr Christine Ambrose Smith

Cllr Christine Ambrose Smith - Credit: Archant

A sponsor is being sought to set up and run a new secondary and special school in Littleport.

The schools – which are now scheduled to open in September 2016 – will be located to the north west of the village, near to the leisure centre.

The secondary school will cater initially for 600 pupils aged from 11 to 16, with the potential for future expansion up to 750 pupils.

The special school on the same site will cater for 110 pupils aged from two to 19 with special educational needs.

The total cost of both schools will be about £30m, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council from a combination of Department for Education money and contributions from developers.

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The Education Act 2011 requires new schools to be promoted either as an academy or a free school. The county council is therefore inviting applications from potential sponsors who wish to run and manage these two schools.

The application process starts on November 29 and ends on February 10. The council will then shortlist applicants. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to present their proposals at a public meeting and in front of an assessment panel.

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The assessment panel will then recommend a preferred sponsor to the Secretary of State for Education, who makes the final decision.

Littleport councillor Christine Ambrose Smith welcomed the news and urged villagers to make an effort to get involved with the process.

She said: “The secondary school will provide the young people of Littleport with a solid, well rounded education for those following either an academic or a vocational path, with an awareness of the wider world in which they must compete.

“For the new school to be a success, it is essential that the local community supports fully what is to be achieved, and it is up to the people of Littleport to make sure that they get the school that their children deserve from this investment into Littleport.”

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