Harlow Headteachers asked for their views and support for a new free school.

THE Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust (BMAT) last week revealed plans to open a brand new free school.

For the Trust to apply to the Department for Education, one of the necessary requirements is first to gather community support.

Meetings will be held for parents to find out more and to sign their support before the end of the year.

Helena Mills, head of BMAT schools, said: “We are looking to consult with the community as a whole. If we feel there is support, we will be looking to put our application forward to the DfE in March.

“I have lots of meetings in my diary with headteachers of the town’s primary schools to get their views. I will also be meeting many parents of Year 3, 4, 9 and 10 children in our own schools, but also other primary schools where school places may be required in 2018.

“People have asked why we are even considering this. The main reason is we want to help the local authority to meet the demand for places in 2018.

“However, we are also keen to offer more children the Burnt Mill experience. If families want it, our free school would also offer an elite programme, including A-level courses and the International Baccalaureate not currently offered in Harlow.”

The BMAT plan is to open a free school and sixth form for 11 to 19-year-olds.

The Trust already operates two secondary schools – in Harlow and Stansted – and four primaries in Harlow.

The new school, if approved, will open first with the sixth form in 2017 before the main school in 2018.

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