Group’s vi­sion for new school

‘Smaller classes and longer hours’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­

PAR­ENTS have out­lined their vi­sions for a new se­condary school which they hope will open in the Chilterns in two years time.

Plans for the new Chiltern Ridge­way School, which will be a free school funded by cen­tral govern­ment, are to be sent to the De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion by a group of par­ents, with the aim of im­prov­ing the choice of se­condary schools in the county.

The lo­ca­tion of the school has not yet been de­cided, but the par­ents’ group be­hind it say that it will not have a de­fined catch­ment area and will take chil­dren from any area who wish to at­tend.

Ear­lier this month, a meet­ing was held, at which the group drew out its ideas for how the school would op­er­ate.

It aims to have class sizes of no more than 20, with 80 pupils per year group, and to pos­si­bly have a slightly longer school day to en­able chil­dren to get more from be­ing in school.

Group mem­ber Katinka Ness­bach said: “We want it to dif­fer from other schools in terms of its size.

“We want smaller classes in which chil­dren can ben­e­fit from more fo­cus from their teach­ers.

“In larger schools, with more pupils per class, it can be pos­si­ble for pupils to get lost in the sys­tem, and we want to make sure that this doesn’t hap­pen here.

“We may well spe­cialise in a cer­tain sub­ject at some point, but that is a ques­tion for fur­ther along in the process.”

The group is now ask­ing for the sup­port of more par­ents from the area to help its ap­pli­ca­tion to the De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion.

In a state­ment it said: “There is a need to pre­pare our area to meet the grow­ing de­mand for se­condary school places and we are at the begin­ning of a process of mak­ing Chiltern Ridge­way School a re­al­ity.

“With­out the sup­port of the lo­cal com­mu­nity we will not be able to progress to the next stage of sub­mit­ting our ap­pli­ca­tion to the De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion.”

A for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion is due to be made in Oc­to­ber, with the school pos­si­bly open­ing in time for the 2016/17 school year.

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