Empty offices could house school
A FREE school could be opened in unused office buildings in Portishead in a bid to solve the lack of class places in the growing town.
The Village Quarter Parents Action Group has appointed educational visionary Marcus Orlovsky to drive forward plans to open a free school for up to 420 students by September 2014.
One of the locations being considered is unused office blocks in Newfoundland Way, although other sites are also being investigated.
A proposal for the free school is being drawn up by Mr Orlovky, his team and parents from the action group which needs to be submitted by to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) by January 4.
Bridal hand tied bouquet (Roses)
2 Bridesmaids (Roses)
Groom & Best Man button holes (Roses)
Discounted rates apply to larger Bridal party requests.
Not to be used with any other offer.
Contact: 0117 2448228
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
If approved, funding for the free school would have to be sought from the Government and the new school could open by September 2014.
A trust would be set up to run and administer the school, appoint staff and agree the curriculum.
Mr Orlovsky, a founder member and director of educational change consultants Bryanston Square, was one of three organisations to bid to open a free school in the town.
The Diocese of Bath and Wells and the Bristol Free Schools Trust also put forward proposals to the action group.
Mr Orlovsky said: "The parents we spoke to seemed to like our approach to setting up a free school.
"We are delighted the parents and others, including the local secondary school and a number of primary schools in the area, are in favour of us driving this forward. However there is a long way still to go and a lot of hurdles to jump through."
The move to look at setting up a free school in Portishead follows concern about the lack of class places.
This year more than 20 students did not get a place at a primary school in the town, with some students travelling to class in Pill or Clevedon.
If the free school plan gets the green light, it would be the first school of its kind to open in North Somerset.
The Village Quarter Parents Action Group was set up by parents to investigate ways of providing additional places in the town.
Action group spokeswoman Laura Haseldine said: "We felt the proposal by Mr Orlovsky was the most inspiring and that it would provide top class education for our children.
"Following our meetings with the three different organisations, 88 per cent of parents were in favour of the proposals by Mr Orlovsky and his group. We are now continuing to gather support for the proposal by collecting names and details of those parents who wish their children to attend this school."
North Somerset Council is looking at the possibility expanding St Peter's Primary School at Hallets Way from a 420 place to a 630 place primary.
The council has set up two working parties to look at the feasibility of expanding St Peter's School into an all through primary. It has also earmarked £400,000 to look at ways of providing additional school places in the town for September 2013.
Portishead is said to be the fastest growing town in Europe and when developments are complete will have a population of around 30,000.