A chance to shape educational landscape of Wisbech for future generations as consultation gets under-way
An academy trust looking to open a new school in Fenland has launched a consultation process to ask people what they think.
The Brooke Weston Trust said an opportunity to develop a new secondary school in Wisbech, which was announced last year, represents ‘a once in a generation’ chance to shape the educational landscape in the town and provide first-class provision for future generations of students.
However, the online survey being promoted by the Trust gave little information and asked three basic questions: including who you are, whether you support a new secondary school in Wisbech, and asked the responder how important they believe key priorities such as high standards of uniform and high expectations of behaviour and conduct are.
But, after being contacted by the Citizen about the lack of proper information on the survey, Brooke Weston promised this morning (Thursday) to add additional facts about what is proposed including pupil numbers and proposed timescales as soon as possible.
A spokesman for the Trust said: "We are submitting the same bid as last time, but we will put a bit more additional information on the survey site."
The Trust is applying to open a Free School under wave 14 of the Department for Education’s Free School Application Process and is launching the public consultation to invite comments and opinions from all interested parties.
Brooke Weston hopes it will be one of 30 chosen by the government for funding in areas like Fenland that need more school places and have poor educational standards.
The school will specialise in science and maths and will be in addition to the existing Thomas Clarkson Academy.
The opinion of the local community is crucial, particularly at this early stage of the project development process.
The spokesman said the Trust, which already operates Thomas Clarkson Academy and Peckover Primary Schools, has an absolute commitment to developing the best education and opportunities for students in Wisbech and said: "This consultation process will enable stakeholders to have their say in how the educational landscape of the town could be developed."
However, she said the trust has no say over the actual site for the new school. Last December the Citizen reported Cambridgeshire County Council had earmarked land it owns off Barton Road for a new school.
The announcement prompted local councillors to urge people to speak up amid concerns the development will add to congestion in west Wisbech, mainly along North Brink. The expectation is the new school will cater for the current population and outlying villages.
Brooke Weston Trust CEO, Dr Andrew Campbell, said: ‘Education in Fenland is a top priority and the Trust has already demonstrated its commitment to both Thomas Clarkson Academy and Peckover Primary Schools, which both have very clear plans and aspirations for the future. We are inviting everyone from the local community to submit their views via our online survey.’
The consultation process runs until October 14 2019 and the survey can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/brookewestontrustwisbechfreeschool