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New homes could bring free school for Soham

Shire Hall, Cambridgeshire County Council (4827025)
Shire Hall, Cambridgeshire County Council (4827025)

Soham could be home to a new secondary school – but only if the town has enough new housing developments to support it.

Cambridge based inter-church school St Bede’s has won government backing to set up a free school in Cambridgeshire with headteacher Alistair Day pointing to Soham as ‘the most attractive place’ for a new campus.

St Bede’s Trust has now asked education chiefs at Cambridgeshire County Council and the Department for Education to investigate the potential impact on other schools in the area.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: “We have until December to submit our view and will be analysing pupil forecasts and the impact of housing development over the coming weeks before submitting this.”

But the county council believed ‘at the current time there is not the demography to support the new school’.

If it gets the backing from education chiefs, Mr Day said the trust would look to open the school by 2022 and eventually serve up to 900 11-16 year olds.

A free school is funded by government but not run by the council and does not follow the national curriculum.