Plans for new primary school move to next stage

12 January 2018

Plans for a new primary school in South Derbyshire have moved to an important new phase - finding a sponsor.

We're proposing that a new one-form entry (one class per year group) primary school, accommodating up to 210 pupils from reception to year six, should be built at the Highfields Farm housing development site at Findern, where hundreds of new homes are currently being constructed.

A recent six-week public consultation period closed with no objections raised to the proposal and our Cabinet approved the next phase of the project at its meeting on 11 January 2018. That stage will involve seeking expressions of interest from organisations that could sponsor and run the school, which will have academy status.

Our Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale said:

"I'd like to thank those who responded to the public consultation we launched for the proposed school. Looking ahead, the selection of the best possible sponsor for this new school, which will provide the additional school places that will soon be needed in this area, is absolutely crucial, not just for those of us involved in the process of making that choice but, most importantly, for all those children who will attend it, and their families.

"We need to be sure that this school provides a safe, happy and successful learning environment from day one and for many years to come."

The chosen sponsor will be responsible for the management and performance of the school, including the recruitment of teaching staff. The sponsor organisation will need to show it has appropriate experience in and knowledge of the education sector as well offering financial expertise.

We will receive and consider applications from interested parties before recommending its preferred applicants to the Secretary of State for Education, who will make the final decision.

Funding for the construction of the school will be provided in part by the developers of Highfields Farm, who will also identify the precise location of the school buildings and grounds within their plans.

We will provide start-up cash for the school, which is expected to open in September 2019, but on-going funding will come direct to the school from central Government.

We will advertise the launch of the application process for sponsors with the Department for Education in due course.

In the meantime, interested potential sponsors wishing to know more about the proposal should email