Reigate MP Crispin Blunt has welcomed Government approval of Lime Tree High School, a new secondary free school to serve Reigate, Redhill and Merstham.
Lime Tree High School will be a member of GLF Schools, a multi-academy trust. Schools already in the 14-strong group include Lime Tree Primary School (currently in Reigate, pending new premises in Merstham) and Salfords Primary School.
Granting approval last week, alongside 17 other free schools, the Government said: “Opening in 2017, Lime Tree High School will provide 900 high-quality places in Reigate. The trust’s existing local school, the Lime Tree Primary, judged to be ‘good’ by Ofsted in May 2015, is already a popular choice with parents.”
Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP for Reigate, said:
“It bodes well that this application for a free school now has official support from the DfE. A particular advantage should be that the capital funding for our desperately needed secondary school capacity in the centre of the borough will not now be dependent on the cash strapped Surrey County Council.
Anxious parents and I will be watching the development of this essential project closely. The Free Schools Programme is widening the sources of new school provision and children in Reigate and Banstead should now also be able to enjoy the choice and opportunity presented by this new school. Parental choice is the best driver of school success and, with increasing pressure on secondary school places, it is essential that locally we continue to develop and nurture the range of excellent secondary schools in the constituency of Reigate.”
GLF Schools will work with the Education Funding Agency to identify an appropriate site for the new school. The “Lime Tree High School” name is provisional, with the final name to be set once a location is decided.
Jon Chaloner, CEO for GLF Schools, said last week: “We are excited to be able to go ahead with our plans for our new school. We know that the school is much needed by the local community and we are pleased to have the opportunity to build on our success at Lime Tree Primary School“.
The next stage of the process will require GLF Schools to demonstrate parental demand for the school. “We had a good response from parents via our website during the application process”, added Mr Chaloner, “and we intend to engage much more closely with the local community over the next three months”. Parents are being encouraged to register their interest via the school’s website (see below).
GLF says the application has been supported by the heads of local secondary schools and further education providers, as well as officers from Surrey County Council.