Published: 08:00, 17 June 2014
Education bosses have finally revealed where Maidstone’s newest school will be.
The proposal for Jubilee Primary School was first announced in 2012 with a team working behind the scenes to be ready for this September’s intake, but the Department of Education kept the finer details closely guarded – until now.
They confirmed the free school will open in Gatland House, Barming.
The project is the brainchild of the Jubilee Church in Upper Stone Street.
Pastor Neil Pattison said: “Twenty-five suitable sites were found in Maidstone but the ESA (Education and Skills Authority) always prefer to redevelop old office buildings and there is a definite need for school places in west Maidstone, especially with the amount of developments planned for the area.”
A free school is run by teachers, parents or a religious group,which is funded directly by the state rather than local authorities.
The property, in Gatland Lane, has been has been vacant since the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, run by the Kent Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, moved two years ago.
It was bought from KCC by the Education Funding Agency.
The school will have a large focus on sport and performing arts.
Principal Anne Allen said: “We will base our ethos on the very rich principles of our religion, such as honesty and integrity, but the idea is to make the school open to everyone.
“We want the children to take ownership of the school.
“We are going to design the inside so they can access all areas to make themselves feel comfortable.
“For example, if a child doesn’t want to go outside to play, they can go to a reading area.
“It’s all about promoting their confidence and self-esteem.”
Uniforms will be grey with the organisation’s colourful logo and sports bags and tops will be in the colours of each school house.
The school is expected to take 30 pupils in its first year with numbers doubling next year.
A taster session will take place on Sunday, June 22, at the Jubilee Auditorium in Upper Stone Street, between 3pm and 4.30pm.
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