Three sponsors for free school to solve town’s crisis

THE opening of a free school to solve the Portishead school places crisis has moved closer to becoming a reality.

Three organisations have now expressed an interest in opening a free school in the town and parent action groups are warning it is important that parents unite in their choice of sponsor if they want to see this solve the shortfall of places problem.

Steve Spokes from The Bristol Primary School, who is opening a free school in Bristol in September 2013 and who also has experience of setting up schools overseas, was the first to come forward with proposals for a free school in Portishead.

His school would run Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings and would focus on academic achievement, with emphasis on modern languages.

Marcus Orlovsky, who has an established business delivering services for education, has also declared an interest.

He says his organisation has the skills to be creative in developing any existing buildings or land to be an inspiring place for children to be educated.

The third organisation now in the running is the Diocese of Bath of Wells. Proposals include the development of a free school based along the lines of the existing Trinity Primary School in Portishead.

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As the Times prepared to print, both Steve Spokes and Marcus Orlovsky were working on presentations for a public meeting in Portishead, which was due to take place yesterday (Tues).

The Diocese will present their plans on November 20 at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church, in Portishead High Street.

Proposals for schools opening in September 2014 have to be submitted to the Department for Education by January 4.

An essential part of the bid for a free school is parental and community support and commitment.

Laura Haseldine of the Village Quarter Parents Group is urging parents to unite. She said: “In order for any bid to be successful, as a community we need to support the same bid. We will need to have the names of parents and the year they would like their child to start at the school within the next two weeks so that all the information can be collated and included in the proposals.”

More information can be found by visiting The Village Quarter Parent Group page on Facebook.