A LARGE housing development which is now under way in Tidworth will have a new 400 pupil primary school – but it could be run along radically different lines to other schools in this area.
Parents wanting to run a ‘free school’ are to be considered in the drawing up of the schools foundation, as are outside organisations that might want to open an academy along the lines of the Wellington Academy, just down the road.
Councillor Mark Connolly who represents Tidworth at County Hall, said: “Local authorities no longer automatically open new schools as it is open for competition.
“We are looking for views on what local people and organisations want from whoever runs the school and what type of organisation should run it.”
The new school is expected to open in September 2014 as part of the North East Quadrant development.
Initially it will be for 210 pupils but will be designed to allow for future growth to 420 pupils so the kitchen and school hall will be built to a larger specification to save money in the long run.
The long awaited north east quadrant development is now taking place on land formerly in the ownership of the MOD and it will eventually have 600 dwellings.
Although designed for civilians many are expected to purchased by service personnel as the Army footprint in the Tidworth and Bulford area deepens in the next five years and the MOD pulls the last 20,000 soldiers out of Germany.
A workshop to discuss the options for management of the new school has been arranged for 31 January at the Tidworth Community Centre from 5PM.
Councillor Connolly added: “Various local organisations are being invited but members of the public would be welcome too.”