Group eyes up potential site for free school

The former Dental Board  buildings
The former Dental Board buildings

A GROUP of parents and teachers who want to set up a free school say they have found a potential site in Eastbourne.

East Sussex Free School group hope to set up the school in the East Sussex town where there is most need or interest and is considering using the site formerly used by old NHS Dental Board buildings in Compton Place Road, Eastbourne.

Free schools are a Coalition Government initiative which allow groups to set up and run independent state-funded schools, tailored to what they believe are the local needs.

The groups can apply to open schools in Government buildings that are surplus or under-used.

A feasibility study has been carried out on the dental board buildings, which is currently being partly used by the local NHS Trust, and the group is working to submit its application to the Department of Education in February.

The school will cater for secondary and sixth form pupils and students aged between 11 and 19, and the group said it will take a “traditional approach to education” with a focus on discipline and pupils’ learning, attainment, and success.

Paul Taylor from the East Sussex Free School Group said, “We have asked all primary and junior schools if they would help us in distributing leaflets direct to parents.

“We have had a mixed response from Eastbourne schools. Some schools have said that they would do the electronic versions only.

“This excludes those parents who do not have email.

“Some of these parents are the group we want to reach the most. We are looking to contact parents whose children are in Year Four and Year Five.

“We are also very keen for other groups to support us. The school is planning to provide excellent science and technological opportunities for young people, as well as providing languages at a higher level than many state secondary schools currently do.

“We hope to help East Sussex, Eastbourne and its environs by providing a pool of highly educated young people, proficient in languages and other skills. This, we hope, will help the economic future of Eastbourne and East Sussex.”

For more information visit www.eastsussexfreeschool.org.uk, email info@eastsussexfreeschool.org.uk, call 0800 358 59 60, or write to East Sussex Free School, c/o Cornfield Law, 47 Cornfield Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4QN.

Leaflets are also available at the Cornfield Law offices.