Bristol Grammar School (BGS) is applying to open a new free school in Knowle West, South Bristol for more than 1,000 pupils. This follows recent Government proposals to encourage selective schools to open non-selective schools in areas where there is demand and high levels of children from disadvantaged background.
The new comprehensive school will be funded by the Government and will take local children.
The new school will cater for children from the age of 4 to 16. There is huge demand for primary and secondary school places in Bristol, but the catchment area will focus on Knowle West, which has some of the highest levels of poverty in Bristol.
If the application is successful, the Department for Education will fund the cost of the land and building costs. As a state school, it will be non-selective and non-fee paying.
Gary Hopkins, Liberal Democrat leader at Bristol City Council has said that the plan would need support from the local community; however he added “All the noise we have heard is positive. There is real enthusiasm for a new secondary school in Knowle”.
Free schools were an idea of the coalition government where schools can be set up by parents and independent groups.
They are funded and overseen directly by the Department for Education rather than the Local Education Authority.
The aim is to open the school by September 2019.
BGS itself is a selective independent school, converting from a grammar school in the 1970s. If successful, BGS will become the first independent school to sponsor a partner state school in the South West.
For information about the school and Bristol Grammar School fees, visit School Adviser.
Bristol Post – Michael Yong, retrieved from article link.
BBC News – retrieved from article link.