New Notts schools planned to cope with surge in new homes across the county

New schools will be opened across Nottinghamshire to help deal with the increased population from the tens of thousands of new homes being built.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 10:52 am
Eight new schools could be built across Notts

Nottinghamshire County Council is asking for sponsors for eight ‘free schools’ – a type of academy school.

It said it has been given permission to seek proposals for potential sponsors for the new schools. These could include groups of parents, charities, universities and educational groups.

The council said the free schools are needed as a result of housing developments in areas such as Sharphill in Rushcliffe, Rempstone Road in East Leake, Teal Close in Netherfield and Crown Land in Bingham over the next six years.

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Other areas where potential sponsors are likely to be needed are:

Land south of Newark (Fernwood)

Land south of Newark (Newark town)

Lindhurst in Mansfield

Gateford in Bassetlaw

Across the county and city, more than 65,000 new homes are being built in the next 15 years.

Once a new housing development has reached 150 house completions this triggers a publicity campaign for a sponsor, known as the Free School Presumption competitions.

The current calculation is 150 house completions will equate to 32 primary aged children moving on to the development.

Free schools are similar to academies, and are usually new-build schools. The main difference is that they can be set up by groups of parents or teachers.

Like academies, they do not have to follow the national curriculum, can set their own pay and conditions for staff, and can hire teachers who do not have the usual qualifications.

Councillor Philip Owen, is the chairman of children and young people’s committee at the council, and represents the Nuthall and Kimberley ward for the Conservatives.

He said: “The county council has a statutory duty to ensure there are a sufficient number of school places for children across Nottinghamshire.

“We take the necessary steps to make sure the widest possible range of groups and organisations are aware of the sponsorship opportunity and have the time to develop proposals.

“At any point during the process, if a direct route application is made to the Secretary of State, any presumption process can be withdrawn by the county council.”

Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service