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Parents show support for plans to build new school

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PARENTS have expressed support for plans to build a new primary school in north Worcester.

At a public consultation meeting held at Northwick Manor Primary School on Thursday,

parents learned about the proposal, submitted by the Rivers CofE Academy Trust.

The bid for a new school was submitted in September to the Department of Education (DfE) as a means of dealing with a shortfall in the number of catchment school places.

The application comes after Northwick Manor was forced to create a ‘bulge’ class this year, after a classroom of children did not get any school in catchment.

Kate Brunt, chief executive officer the Rivers Trust, said since the proposal was announced last week she has already received 20 applications of interest from parents.

"We are offering this night to ascertain what the community feels,” she said. “I want to allay any fears and answer any questions. If we don't work together it doesn't work. We want a community school that is going to meet the needs of our children. It is very exciting."

Jo Bishop, who has two children aged three and four months, said: "It is just reassuring that people are taking action to hopefully put measures in place for the families that need it.

"It has just become so stressful for parents and families. The whole application process is such an onerous task because people aren't getting their first choices, or second choices and are having to travel across Worcester."

Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We are very supportive of it. We are conscious of the oversubscription that there has been."

A site has not yet been identified for the new school, however, if the application is successful the Trust will work with Worcestershire County Council to find a suitable location.

It is hoped the Trust will know if it has secured an interview with the Department of Education by December. And, if its application is successful an announcement will be made early next year.

If the proposal is accepted, it would take its first 60 reception pupils in September 2018, reaching its full potential of 420 pupils of primary age over seven years.

A 26 place pre-school nursery is also included in the plans.