New primary school plans for Wisbech

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A new primary school could be built in Wisbech if a proposal comes together.

Brooke Weston Trust is looking to open a 420-place primary school in the grounds of the Thomas Clarkson Academy (TCA) during autumn 2016.

The trust will submit an application for a free school to the Department of Education on October 10 after receiving the support of Cambs County Council’s children and young people’s committee last week.

The council has been under pressure to provide additional primary places in Wisbech due to rising birth rates and migration.

But for the plans to come together, the trust needs the support of parents whose children start school in 2016.

Consultation evenings will be held on Tuesday, September 30, and Thursday, October 2, at Thomas Clarkson, between 6.30pm to 8pm.

Project manager Matt Isherwood said: “Our submission on October 10 must show there is sufficient evidence of demand from parents of children currently two or three or one or two year-olds, along with robust analysis.

“If parents of children who will start school in 2016 and 2017 wish to seek further information or to sign up or wish to express an interest to send their children, we would be delighted to meet with them.”

The Government will fund the new school building and Mr Isherwod has stressed that funding for existing schools in the town will not be affected.

The new school will have a two classes, which will comprise of a maximum of 30 children.

If given the go-ahead the school will start off with just the reception class and will grow over the years.

The trust are due to hear in the new year if the application is successful and would aim to submit a planning application at Easter.

Leader of Wisbech Town Council David Oliver has also supported the move.

He said: “We would welcome a new primary school. It is something we have been saying for a long time.”

To support the project email consultation@brookewestontrust.org

n The county council is also encouraging families on low incomes to apply for free school meals in order to unlock more money for their child’s school.

From the start of this term, all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in England started to receive free school meals for the first time.

However, schools still want parents on a low income to apply for free school meals in the traditional way, because it allows schools to receive significant extra funding, known as the Pupil Premium.

Keith Grimwade, Director for Learning, said: “Although in theory all young children can get free school meals, every primary school child who applies on the grounds of low income secures £1,300 in additional funding for their school – the Pupil Premium.”