The Diocese of Guildford announced their intention to apply to open a new secondary school in the area to the east of Woking. They will do so in January, aiming for a 2016 opening. This proposal will not affect our bid and we will apply in January for a 2015 opening as we have always planned.
Whilst each proposal will be judged on its merits, we believe it is unlikely that both proposals would be approved by the Department for Education. If the Diocese bid is successful those local parents with children needing a place in September 2015 will not have a place provided by either bid. In subsequent years, families in south Woking (particularly those not practising a faith) could struggle to gain a place because of the proposed selective admissions criteria.
Our vision is for a school that is non-selective, non-faith based with a comprehensive intake serving all the families of south Woking, an area particularly seriously affected by a shortage of secondary school places starting from 2015, with the added pressure of significant new housing developments.
We are a parent led group and this school will be for our children too so we have worked hard to build a strong team which includes experienced senior school leaders, teachers, business people and school governors. We have been meeting and speaking to parents for over a year, visited many nationally outstanding schools to understand what they do so well and believe that the school we envision is not only needed but also wanted, which is backed up by the huge number of sign-ups we have received and the numbers who attended our public meetings or spoke to us at school fairs.
Because of this level of demand we have decided to open with a 4 form-entry roll of 120 children in the first year which also means we need to continue to get sign-ups! The higher the number of registrations we have from committed parents, the better our bid becomes so please continue to campaign amongst other parents to ensure this message is clearly understood.