New school is a step nearer

THERE is “every likelihood”
that a new £4.5m
primary school will be
set up in a Hampshire
community by next
September, according to
a civic boss.
Parents in Whiteley have long
campaigned for extra school
places to cater for an everincreasing
number of pupils in
the area.
After a meeting between
Fareham Borough Council leader
Sean Woodward and around 100
parents earlier this year it was
decided a Church of England
Voluntary Aided School should
be set up in temporary buildings,
with a long-term plan to make
the school permanent.
The scheme has now
gathered sufficient support
to press ahead
with plans for the new
school, which is likely
to be built at Lady
Betty’s Drive.
Starting off with just 30 pupils
the school would grow to up to
210 places.
Providing no objections are
received in the next six-week consultation
period Hampshire
County Council will agree the
formation of the school by
January 2013 and it will open in
September 2013.
Councillor Woodward said they
had pressed ahead at “breakneck
speed” with the school
plans after the demands from
parents.
He said: “Following a meeting
earlier in the year with around
100 parents who told me that
they were not prepared
to wait years for a
new school in
Whiteley I was
able, with their
support, to get the
issue back to the top
of the agenda for the
county council and Diocese of
Portsmouth.
“There is now every likelihood
that a new 210-place primary
school will open in Whiteley next
September.
“It became clear that the best
option for opening a new school
quickly was to propose a Church
of England Voluntary Aided
School, a far simpler process
with a more certain outcome.
“When development north of
Whiteley goes ahead the school
will move into permanent accommodation.
“This is fantastic news for the
community and will mean that
Whiteley children should no
longer have to leave Whiteley for
their primary education.
“I pay tribute to all of the parents
who approached me earlier
this year to ask for action.
Without their wholehearted support
we would not now be in this
position.”

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