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A new school could occupy the Walmer Science College Site in Salisbury Road, Deal from 2015

By Beth Robson

Plans for a new primary and secondary free school at the former Walmer Science College site are being considered, the Mercury can exclusively reveal.

The news of the proposed free school was announced on Tuesday afternoon and, if successful, it will cater for nursery to sixth-form aged children from as early as 2015.

An application will be submitted to the DfE to turn the former Walmer Science College site into a free school

Deal MP Charlie Elphicke supports the scheme, saying it would restore parental choice, and the project’s spokesman Jon Fox said: “It’s what Deal needs.”

Free schools are funded by the government and are subject to the same standards including Ofsted inspections.

The news comes at a time when Deal’s only secondary school has been placed into special measures.

Mr Fox, a head teacher at another Kent school, said he was keen to get the school up and running, although he has no plans to leave his present job.

“It’s very exciting,” he said.

“I think it’s really positive and it’s what Deal needs – particularly a secondary school – not because of what’s going on with Castle, because they are going to be brilliant again.

“I have worked in a school that was in special measures and they fly really quickly.

“There is a need for this school.”

The idea was brainstormed by Mr Fox, another head teacher and Ofsted inspector Cole Andrew, and Greg Bridges, pastor at Community Church Deal.

A statement issued to the Mercury said: “An application is being made to the Department for Education for a new primary and secondary school for Deal.

“The school will be an ‘all-through’ school. It will admit children from reception through to A-levels.

“It will have a Christian ethos, yet be inclusive for students of all faiths and none. The school will also have nursery provision, a breakfast club and an after-school club.”

Mr Fox added: “We are passionate about the children of Deal, including our own children. We seek to provide greater educational choice in Deal.

MP for Deal and Dover Charlie Elphicke said: “This is a really exciting proposal".

For the full story, see this week's Mercury out today.

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