Parents are urged to back free school

PORTISHEAD parents are being asked to sign up now if they support a free school option selected by a steering group.

The Village Quarter Parents Group has been actively seeking a solution to the shortfall of school places in Portishead, including the investigation of a potential new free school opening in the town.

Three willing free school sponsors have given public presentations, but for any to move forward they must be able to demonstrate they have the support of parents in the community. The site identified to be the most suitable is currently two disused office blocks in Newfoundland Way.

Laura Haseldine, a member of the steering group, says they have discussed the three presentations in depth, assessed the responses to questions asked and looked at all the feedback from parents, teachers and headteachers, including the information posted on their Facebook page.

She said: “As a result, the decision has been taken to support the bid for the free school proposed by Marcus Orlovsky.

“It is widely felt that he and his team offer the most appropriate and inspiring solution to create a world class school for our children. We hope their proposals and experience will add to the choice of fantastic schools already available in Portishead.”

In order for the bid to succeed, community and parental support is vital and commitment from parents wanting to send their children to the school is required as a matter of urgency. Anyone wanting to find out more can visit the Village Quarter Parents Group page on Facebook, but anyone pledging support for the school should email or with their name, email address, postcode and the year and year group their child will start at the school.

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The parents’ group plans to hold a further public meeting in the next 10 days to address any questions people may have.

If successful, the free school would open in 2014, which still leaves parents wondering how the shortfall in September 2013 will be met.

North Somerset Council is expected to begin a public consultation in January on the possible expansion of St Peter’s Primary School in Halletts Way.