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Students spared 40 mile round trip commute after agreement reached to fund Wisbech Free school

The new school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust

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Some 40 Wisbech area students have been spared a daily round trip commute of 40 miles after a last-minute decision to add temporary classrooms to the Thomas Clarkson Academy. The classrooms will form the base for a permanent, and new Free school, funded by the Government.

A funding agreement to enable it to open in September was signed this week by the Department for Education (DfE) who will deliver the new school.

“The new permanent accommodation for the school will be progressed over the course of the next year,” said a county council spokesperson.

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“This means there will be sufficient secondary school places in Wisbech this September and pupils will not have to travel to Whittlesey or Littleport instead.”

The new school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust, which also runs the Thomas Clarkson Academy, and is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

The new Wisbech Free school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust, which also runs the Thomas Clarkson Academy (above), and is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

The new Wisbech Free school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust, which also runs the Thomas Clarkson Academy, and is expected to be fully operational by 2026. Artist’s impression of the new school. PHOTO: Thomas Clarkson Academy

Cambridgeshire County Council advised parents in March that if the decision was made to open the school this September, any child would be able to make an application to the school under a separate admissions round run by Brooke Weston Trust.

Following the signing of the funding agreement, the council and Brooke Weston will be contacting families whose children have currently been allocated a school place for September outside Wisbech to offer them an alternative place at the new Free School.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, chair of the county council children and young people’s committee said: “This is excellent news for Wisbech.

“It is essential that this new school opens in September, and thanks to the persistence and hard work of council officers – in partnership with the Brooke Weston Trust and the DfE – it has become a reality.

“We owe it to our children and young people to give them a school place as near as possible to where they live, and we will now be able to do that in Wisbech.”

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A community event will be held at the Thomas Clarkson Academy, when parents will be updated on developments and advised how they can apply for a place at the new school.

The county council had previously said 34 children from Wisbech had been assigned a place in Littleport, with transport provided.

The council explained that because of the high number of applications for secondary school places in Wisbech for September 2024 they had been unable to offer all students a place until there was certainty about the funding being approved for the new school.

Alternative provision had been offered at Vista Academy, Littleport and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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