League table topping Northampton School for Boys gets go ahead to build 1,100-pupil secondary school
A new 1,100 pupil free school is set to be built in the town after the trust in charge of Northampton School for Boys was given aproval from the secretary of state.
Further details of the plans for the new secondary school for 11-to-16-year-olds will become available at a series of public meetings to be held over the coming weeks.
Of the four recent free school applications submitted to the Government, the Northampton School for Boys Trust proposal to create 'Northampton School', was chosen by the Department for Education as the best application to meet the county's needs.
The proposed site of the new school and the opening date have still to be formally confirmed by the DfE.
Headteacher of NSB, Richard Bernard said he was 'absolutely delighted' with the approval.
He said: "The town is in desperate need of a new secondary school to meet the shortfall in secondary places and there is also a huge demand in Northampton for an NSB style of education.
"This demand is clearly apparent from the levels of oversubscription for a Year 7 place at NSB and from the wave of public support that we enjoyed for our free school bid."
More than 1,000 people in Northampton gave their support for the free school during the consultation phase for the application.
Mr Bernard said that Northampton School would "seek to replicate the traditional ethos and culture of NSB", which regularly tops school league tables in the county for attainment and is ranked in the top four per cent in the country for academic progress.
Nick Gibb, the Schools’ Minister, made reference to NSB in recent a recent speech, describing NSB as "an outstanding school with a rigorous academic ethos."
The new school will specialise in sports and the performing arts and will also act as a feeder school to the NSB sixth form.
The announcement has also been welcomed by MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted with this announcement. NSB is a first-class comprehensive school in great demand every year from parents for a place for their child - now, with this brilliant news that a new school with NSB's outstanding ethos will be opening in Northampton, hundreds more local children every year will soon benefit."
Cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Fiona Baker, said: “This is fantastic news for Northamptonshire and testament to the hard work of the school and our team which supported the bid.
“Northampton School for Boys is an excellent school with such a strong reputation so to now be able to go forward with a new Free School with such exceptional backing will be of huge benefit to the town and surrounding area and give parents new options.
“This new school will be a key part of rising to the challenges of growing pupil numbers in Northampton and we look forward to working with NSB to realise this potential.”
Details of the public meetings will be released at a later date.