AMBITIOUS plans to open a new free school in Hyndburn have been announced.
The Red Rose Free School would be free of local authority control, and has been proposed by a group of local teachers and parents.
The proposal comes just months after a ‘pioneering’ studio school was forced to move less than a year after it opened.
Students at Hyndburn Studio School, which opened in St James’ Court West, Accrington, in September 2012, were sent to Accrington and Rossendale College due to ‘lower than anticipated applications’ for its second year.
An exact location for Red Rose Free School has yet to be announced, but it would take an initial 150 students, and would offer a ‘strong academic focus, a culture of good behaviour, mutual respect, and continuity of education right through school’, according to the people behind it.
Free schools are all-ability state-funded schools set up in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for children in their community.
A spokesman for the school’s steering committee said: “We will have small class sizes, with a robust academic curriculum, taught by highly qualified subject specialist teachers.
“Red Rose was proposed in response to the demand for more good school places and high quality education in Hyndburn and the surrounding areas of East Lancashire.
“We know that some of our local schools already have high standards, but many of our children simply cannot get into these schools. We also believe there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to selecting the right school for a child.
“Our school will have a small, nurturing atmosphere which may be preferable to some families.
“Choice has always existed for those able to afford private education and we believe this choice should be available to all.”
The group is applying to open the school, and expect it to be open by next September.
The first intake of students would be 75 for reception and 75 for year seven.
Children from Hyndburn will be eligible, as would those from outside the borough but within reasonable travelling distance.
There will be no entrance test and no cost.
To apply for a place, or to find out more, visit www.redrosefreeschool.com