Durrington High will submit bid to set up primary school

Sue Marooney, headteacher of Durrington High School

Sue Marooney, headteacher of Durrington High School

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The trust that runs Durrington High School is throwing its hat in the ring to set up and run a new primary school.

The announcement comes after West Sussex County Council recommended that more school places were needed to accomodate the new 700-home development being built in West Durrington.

It will make the transition from primary to secondary school even more seamless

Sue Marooney

Head teacher of Durrington High School Sue Marooney said the Durrington Multi-Academy Trust, which was set up in 2014 to run the school, was in the process of applying to the Department of Education to set up and lead the proposed two-form primary school.

The application has to be submitted by the beginning of September, she said, with a decision being made in December.

The process is open to anyone, including any trust in the country – but Ms Marooney said she was hopeful that the trust’s local base would give its bid the edge.

“We’re firmly committed to our community, and the exciting thing is that if the school is built there, there will be a feeder into our school, so the children will be with us from four until they leave.

“It will make the transition from primary to secondary school even more seamless. A lot of parents of potential students have come forward and said it’s a good idea.

“We are committed to excellence in all we do and this is an exciting new phase in the Durrington journey.”

A statement from the trust said: “We will be working with local primary colleagues, who are experts in this phase of education.

“We are delighted that Martin Garratt, head teacher of the Vale Primary School, and other colleagues will be advising us on this ground-breaking new venture.”

A county council spokesperson said that it was seeking money and resources from the housing developers to help provide 30 to 60 more school places per year group in the area as part of the planning agreement.

They added: “The funding of any new school is likely to involve capital funding from several sources. If it is a free school then the Department for Education would be the major investor.”

A free school is one that is publicly-funded that parents, teachers and other members of the community can set up.