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Wisbech Free School Given The Go Ahead

In 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) approved plans to open an ambitious and aspirational new 600-student secondary school in Wisbech to help meet the growing demand for school places in our community and offer local families more choice.

The new school will be run by Brooke Weston Trust – the same Trust that runs Thomas Clarkson Academy and Peckover Primary School. Mr Scott, the current Principal of Thomas Clarkson Academy, will become the Executive Principal across both secondary schools, each of which will also have their own Associate Principal in charge of their day-to-day operation.

Since the proposals were approved, the Department for Education and Cambridgeshire County Council have been working closely, together with Brooke Weston Trust, to identify a suitable location for the new school building.

It has been agreed that the best location will be next to the existing Thomas Clarkson Academy, off Weasenham Lane. It is expected that the new building will be constructed over the next couple of years, ready to open during the 2026/27 school year.

Could Wisbech Free School open in September 2024?

While the new building will provide more spaces, Cambridgeshire County Council needs more secondary school places now. This growing demand means that today (1st March) a number of local children will have been offered a school place many miles away.

Therefore, the Cambridgeshire County Council, Department for Education and Brooke Weston Trust are working together to see if it is possible to open the new secondary school much sooner.

If it is possible, the school could open as soon as September 2024 for up to 120 students.

This earlier opening would mean the school opens across two phases. Phase One would see the school open in a modern, modular, temporary school building over the next couple of school years. The new permanent school building will be built alongside this, allowing the school to transfer across to the new building as part of Phase Two in 2026/27.

No decision has yet been made about whether the school can open this year. This decision will be made by the Department for Education.

What happens next?

Brooke Weston Trust and the team at Thomas Clarkson Academy are doing everything possible to be ready should the Department for Education give permission for 2024 early opening to go ahead. We are also working hard on the design for the permanent new school building and facilities for 2026/27.

Between now and Easter, we will be working with our local community, including primary pupils, to create the new school identity, logo, and branding, as well as starting to recruit teachers and members of staff.

We will also host information evenings for parents of pupils in Year 6 and Year 5 to learn more about the plans for the new school and explain more about what it will offer for local students.

Register your interest in a place for your child

If you would like to register your interest in a place for your Year 6 child at the Wisbech Free School for September 2024, please complete the form below. This is a non-binding expression of interest at this stage. All parents of pupils in Year 6 can complete this form even if your child has already been offered a place at another school.

Should the September 2024 opening be approved, every student in Year 6 will be offered the chance to apply for a place at Wisbech Free School via a special application form which will be made available at that time.

Anyone that registers their interest will be provided with an update as soon as possible.

Please click here to register your interest

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