National support for town free school idea

PLANS to provide a new free school in Boston town centre are one step closer to reality, after they received backing from a national support programme.

The Boston Primary Free School was one of 20 groups selected by the New Schools Network to receive help from the Development Programme because they displayed high potential for providing a school where it was most needed.

It means the Boston Free School steering committee will now receive help to navigate the process of setting up a new school.

Committee representative Denzil Shepheard said: “We are delighted to have been selected for the development programme.”

The new school, which will be built in the town centre, will be a stand-alone centre to begin with, but will later become part of the Phoenix Federation, along with Park Community Primary School and Gosberton Primary School. It will cater for children between the ages of four and 11 and will accommodate 15 pupils per class.

Carol Clare, principal of the Phoenix Federation, told The Standard the school would be a valuable asset to the town.

She added: “Boston is vastly over-subscribed for primary school places, so it would be bringing much-needed places to the federation, which is currently turning children away virtually every day.

“It will be a very specific type of school. We know the population we serve has quite an English as an additional language cohort. The free school will be about a global education. The world decreasing and is becoming more accessible and we want our children to be on a level playing field with those from other areas who have more opportunities.”

The steering committee will find out in April whether it has got to the next stage of the application. In the meantime, parents are being urged to complete a questionnaire to show whether they would consider supporting a new free school. The questionnaire is available at www.bostonparkcommunity.co.uk. A paper version has also been posted to homes in the area.