New free school still in discussions after three years

As reported by the Northamptonshire Telegraph, a Corby school which was announced three years ago is still nowhere near being built

A secondary free school in Corby, which was announced to be built three years ago, is still being discussed.

The school will be run by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). No opening date has been confirmed.

A spokesperson has said that the project is still under control of the Department for Education (DfE).

The original plan was that the school would open this September. The trust’s website currently states that September 2020 will see the school open.

However, building work has not been started – and neither have detailed plans.

A CMAT spokesman said: “The scheme is being centrally funded by the Department for Education through the free schools programme.

“The department is currently undertaking a feasibility study to inform the budget and programme in order to agree an opening date.”

Corby council is currently sending some secondary pupils to Oundle, as Corby itself is suffering a places shortage.

The council’s school organisation plan says that there is currently capacity for 954 secondary school pupils in Corby.

It forecasts that 1,149 places will be needed by 2022.

The plan is that the new free school will accommodate 1,500 pupils.

A spokesperson for the DfE said: “The department is currently agreeing an opening date for Corby Secondary Academy.”

Corby MP Tom Pursglove commented that it’s important for schools to keep up with housing growth.

He said:  “While it has long been the case that a number of young people are educated in schools outside of the town in which they live – as I recall being the case when I was comprehensively educated in Wellingborough, but friends of mine went to school in Kettering, and the fact some young people who live in Kettering go to school in Corby, and vice versa – I absolutely share the ambition that we want all parents to have the choice to have their children educated in the town in which they live.

“As such, I am clear that school places must keep up with the housing growth we are seeing, and I will continue to make the case strongly both locally and in parliament.”

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