Community views sought on proposed free school

CONSULTATION on a proposed free school at the old Dental Estimates Board site has now opened and drop-in sessions will soon take place.

The Department for Education has approved the pre-opening phase for Gildredge House in July this year and now the people of Eastbourne are being asked to share their views on the proposal to create a new school to cater for children aged between four and 19.

Consultation on the proposal opened on September 17 and continues until October 29.

Gildredge House is scheduled to open in September 2013 with 56 pupils across two reception classes and six classes of 20 in Year 7. By 2019, the school will reach its full capacity, with a projected 1,192 pupils on roll. The school plans to open on the Dental Practice Board site in Compton Place Road, which will be refurbished to welcome the first intake.

The proposers are holding a drop-in session at Community Wise, Ocklynge Road, on Tuesday, October 2 between 4pm and 7pm.

Edward Board, chair of board of governors for the school, said, “This is an extremely exciting proposal and we are keen to share our ideas and vision for a school that promises a first rate education for children from all backgrounds.

“I very much hope people will come to one of our drop-ins or take the time to respond either online, by calling our message line or returning our questionnaire.”

A questionnaire is available at and a consultation leaflet is also available in community centres, faith centress and at Eastbourne Library. Residents can also register their views on 0845 257 5070.