Federation makes bid for new Free School

GOVERNORS at a federated Boston school are hoping to become among the first in the county to sever ties with the local authority under the Coalition’s Free Schools programme.

The governing body of The Phoenix Federation, which comprises Boston’s Park Community and Gosberton primary schools, has announced plans to open a Free School in the centre of town.

Free Schools are state-funded, but free from Government control. They do, however, remain subject to Ofsted inspections.

They can be set up by a wide range of proposers, including charities, businesses and groups of teachers or parents and to date have attracted more than 320 applications to the Department for Education (DfE).

About 40 have been approved so far - none in Lincolnshire.

Chairman of The Phoenix Federation’s governing body Denzil Shepheard said: “We are confident that our ethos, values and education expertise will meet a clear need for primary school places in central Boston.”

Mr Shepheard explained applications for Park Community Primary School, in Robin Hood’s Walk, currently exceed the number of available places. The aim, he said, is to merely cater for those being turned away.

“Our plan is to set up a school very similar to the one we have already got,” he said.

Mr Shepheard said the governors have identified a building in the town centre with an ‘educational history’ for the proposed Free School, which would take 105 children.

The governors are currently gauging support among the community ahead of an application to the DfE, but the hope is to open the school in September 2012.

“The Phoenix Federation firmly believes it is in a strong position to guarantee local families and children a quality education, based on the success of both of our schools in recent years,” Mr Shepheard said.

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