Bid to bring school back to Winslow is supported

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A BID to bring a secondary school back to Winslow has been supported – amid claims that it could prevent the Winslow Centre being sold for housing.

Chiefs from the Department for Education are weighing up plans to set up a free school in the town – with youngsters currently having to travel miles for their education.

The Winslow Centre has been mooted as a possible site for the school, with a group headed by a former Vale headteacher hoping to have the school open in September last year.

This week, a county councillor said opening a school in the Winslow Centre could save it from being sold by Bucks County Council and converted into housing.

As reported in the Herald last week, Winslow’s mayor, Councillor Llew Monger, said there were ‘many unanswered questions’ about the bid, and urged parents to be cautious.

But county councillor David Rowlands, who represents Winslow, has said he favours the plans.

Mr Rowlands, who headed a campaign to bring a secondary school back to Winslow a decade ago, said: “I’m delighted that someone has bitten the bullet and taken the travelling of their kiddies to heart.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if at some stage in the next five to 10 years, the Winslow Centre could be sold for housing.

“But I think the centre is currently under used, and it could be converted into a very good school.

“It would totally revitalise the Winslow Centre.”

Mr Rowlands continued: “I would rather see a secondary school coming back to the Winslow Centre than that whole site being developed for housing.”

A group headed by former Quainton CofE Combined School headteacher Peter Bird has put forward the bid.

If given the go-ahead, the school would be called the Sir Thomas Fremantle School.

The group says more than 400 families have expressed an interest in sending their children to the school.

The team is set to find out in July whether their bid to set up the free school has been accepted.

Free schools were introduced by the coalition government, allowing communities and parents to set up their own schools.

Parents can visit www.sirthomasfremantle.org for information, or email newschoolhere@btinternet.com for answers to specific questions.