PARENTS and members of the public are being invited to take part in a consultation on proposals for a new secondary school in Reading.
The Council selected a preferred location for a new 6-form entry secondary school last month to cope with the on-going growth in demand for school places in the town.
The next stage is for parents, residents and existing schools to have their say on issues such as the new school’s catchment area, its ethos and curriculum.
Land at Richfield Avenue, west of Rivermead Leisure Centre and bordering Thameside Promenade, has been chosen as the preferred site for the new 900-place free school to open in September 2021. Current estimates are that an additional 1,000 new secondary school places will be needed in Reading by 2025/26.
A formal consultation on the plans will be the first step towards identifying a provider for the new school and the Council applying for Department for Education (DfE) funding under its Wave 13 Free Schools programme.
Members of the public are being asked what key features they would be looking for in a new secondary school, what the curriculum should focus on, what characteristics would be the most important, options for admission criteria and the preferred type of academy to run the school.
The Council will also be consulting existing Reading schools on the concept and structure of the new secondary school.
Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education, said:
“This public consultation is an early but important step in the creation of a new secondary school for Reading.
“After the Council’s major expansion of primary school places in Reading it is now essential we turn our attention to meeting the increasing demand for secondary school places.
“Increased provision has already been delivered with the opening of The Wren School, the UTC and Maiden Erlegh (Reading) and now we want to hear from parents and the public about their views on the proposed new school in Richfield Avenue and how it should operate.”
The consultation document can be found at: https://consult.reading.gov.uk/ under the heading ‘Consultation survey for parents linked to the new secondary school in Reading’ and the deadline for responses is 31st August 2018.