A local parent steering group has joined forces with an educational trust to create a proposal for an 11-18 secondary free school in the Twickenham area.

The New Local School for Twickenham Steering Group is proposing an innovative and inspirational community school, committed to the highest possible standards, delivering a broad and balanced curriculum and valuing the achievements and aspirations of every pupil.

Spokesperson, Beverley Sanders, said “Our children have a great start at local primary schools, but there is a strain on capacity that is pushing its way into secondary provision. We know that there is a need for more secondary capacity in the near future. The Free School legislation can enable local parents to shape the decisions, and secure government funding to create the kind of new school that local people want. We will work with the council to ensure that our proposed school makes a positive contribution to their existing family of schools, and becomes a hub for its local community”.

Ms Sanders continued “We want a secondary school that will deliver high academic standards and foster excellent behaviour and social responsibility in our children, so we are working in partnership with the Russell Education Trust (RET), to set up and run the school”.

RET set up the largest Free School to open in September 2011 and they are opening another large secondary school in Essex, in September 2012. The Trust is led and staffed by experienced head teachers, Ofsted inspectors and academic specialists; and they work in partnership with existing outstanding schools in London and the south of England.

Local parent, and steering group member Justine Hamer said "We will cater for children of all interests and abilities. We will aim high, and expect all of our children to reach their full academic and social potential. "

To open the School in September 2013, the group need to demonstrate that there is strong local demand by the 24th February 2012, the final date for applications to the Department for Education.

“We need as many parents as possible to register their interest from years 3 to 5 from local schools. This evidence of demand will be crucial to the success of our Free School proposal because we will need to demonstrate maximum demand to get full government funding for our proposal” said Ms Sanders.

The steering group will work with the council to identify a suitable site for their school in the Twickenham area and have expressed an interest in the Clifden Road site. However, they are open to other site options.

For more information about the proposed school, and information on how to register your interest, visit www.newlocalschool4twickenham.org.uk

— from a press release – 31 January 2012