THE government has confirmed funding to build a new secondary school in Worthing to accommodate the growing number of children coming through the school system.
The Department for Education has set aside more than £13million for the construction of the new 900-pupil school to be built in Broadwater.
It is expected that the move will allow the age children start secondary school to be lowered from 12 to 11 years old, bringing Worthing in line with the rest of the county and moving to a primary/secondary system, as opposed to the infant, first and middle school set-up.
Proposals have been made for the school to be built on surplus land owned by Northbrook College in Broadwater.
MPs Tim Loughton and Sir Peter Bottomley, and Cllr Peter Evans met with the Education Minister David Laws to discuss the need for another school in the area.
Tim Loughton, MP for Eest Worthing and Shoreham, said: “I am pleased that the Government has listened to the strong case that we made.
“This is a real vote of confidence in our local schools, and the improvements we are enjoying locally.”
Councillors discussed the issue at the latest West Sussex County Council full council meeting today, Friday, July 19, where Mr Evans, cabinet member for education, said: “There has been a big influx of children being born in the area.
“Infant, first and primary schools need to move to the primary and secondary way of working.”
It was also revealed that funding for additional places at some of the town’s schools had been secured.
Durrington High School will be increased by 360 places and Davison CE High School for Girls will take another 240 pupils.
Mr Loughton said: “Given the big increase in the number of schoolchildren in Worthing and the long overdue change in the age of transfer to bring Worthing in line with the rest of the country, this new school is absolutely essential.”
Although it is not yet certain when the school will be built, Mr Loughton said it would need to be ready by 2015.
Mr Evans said the age of transfer was not an issue that could be solved easily and certainly not all in one go, adding that it could take ‘a few years’ to implement.
At the meeting it was revealed that the council hoped the new school would be an academy, and it was looking at local sponsorship options.
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