Application for new Stevenage secondary school approved

Michaela Community School Stevenage has been confirmed. Picture: Kinetic Marketing.

Michaela Community School Stevenage has been confirmed. Picture: Kinetic Marketing. - Credit: Archant

The Education Secretary has approved 22 new applications for free schools across the UK, with one confirmed for Stevenage.

The Michaela Community School Stevenage will be a mixed, non-faith 11-19 secondary school.

The initial plan is to accept 180 Year 7s, with the aim of organically filling its capacity of 1,260 school places.

The school will be part of a newly-formed multi-academy trust, which includes Michaela Community School in Wembley Park, which was judged 'outstanding' in all areas by Ofsted in 2017.

READ MORE: Plans to secure former school site in Stevenage to provide more places

As a free school, Michaela Community School Stevenage will technically be listed as an academy, so it will receive its funding from central government.

As the school is in its 'pre-opening phase,' a location and opening date are yet to be confirmed - but there has previously been a target opening date of 2023.

Katharine Birbalsingh, the head of the Michaela school in Wembley Park, was thrilled to hear that the plans for Stevenage have been approved.

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She said: "The support we have received from parents and the wider community for our proposal has been superb.

"We have chosen to establish Michaela in Stevenage to meet the accelerating need for high-quality secondary school places in the growing town and to increase parental choice and diversity of secondary provision in the area."

Eighteen of these latest schools will address areas in the country that are most in need. The Department for Education targeted local authorities with the lowest educational performances and areas that needed a boost from the free schools programme.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds is looking forward to seeing the success these new schools will bring young people.

He said: "Free schools have revolutionised education in this country. More young people - often in the most disadvantaged areas in the country - can benefit from a great free school."

To have your say on the new Michaela Community School Stevenage, click here.

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