Free school dream is dashed for good


- Credit: Archant

ATTEMPTS to open a free school in the Village Quarter area of Portishead have failed.

The Village Quarter Parent Group (VQPG) has been told by the Government’s Department for Education (DfE) that its second application for a new Portishead school will not be taken any further.

The action group was set up by anxious parents who were concerned about the lack of school places available in Portishead.

They campaigned for a school, free from restriction of the Local Education Authority and submitted an application at the beginning of the year. This was successful in the first round of the Government selection process but was rejected at the final stage in May.

Despite the approval of an expansion of St Peter’s Primary School in the meantime, which will help meet the need for school reception places from September 2014, a second application for the free school was made in September.

The DfE feedback suggests that while some aspects of the application were strong, it was lacking in some areas. These included insufficient demand and lack of detail in the financial plan.

A disappointed group spokesman said: “We are really sorry we have not been able to secure a school in the Village Quarter and hope that North Somerset Council and the existing schools can find a solution where all Portishead children can be schooled locally with their friends and neighbours.

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“The initial aim of the VQPG was to raise awareness of the issue of lack of primary school places in Portishead and we do feel that in this we have succeeded.”

The VQPG Facebook page will remain open for the time being to provide a point of communication for parents.