The team behind plans for a new sixthform college in Rutland have been invited to an interview with senior Government officials.
The Department for Education revealed this week that the joint bid for a free school by Uppingham Community College, Oakham School and Catmose College had been put through to the next round of the process.
The team behind the bid for the college, which would be called Harington School, will be interviewed by a Department for Education panel on July 14.
Catmose College principal Stuart Williams called the news a “significant step towards making Harington a reality.”
He added: “We are not complacent however, and know that every single parent and student who shows their support for the bid is critical in persuading the Department for Education that Harington is needed and wanted by our local community.”
The proposed new school would provide A-level education for 300 pupils, with a yearly intake of 150. Rutland County College is currently the only state-run post-16 college in the county.
Uppingham Community College principal Jan Turner was pleased the bid had moved to the interview stage. She called on those who backed the bid, particularly parents of children aged 12 to 15, to register their support before the interview on July 14.
She said: “This is a very important moment for education in Rutland and the invitation to attend for interview clearly shows that very serious consideration is being given to this proposal.
“We are very grateful for the immense support we have received thus far and would urge the local community to help us in this last final stage.”
Oakham School headmaster Nigel Lashbrook added: “This really is extremely positive news, as not all applications are invited to interview. Harington School will give young people in Rutland even more choice in how they develop academically post-16.”
Following this interview the application will be considered further by the Department for Education. The team will know if they are successful or if there are any next steps early in the autumn term.
To find out more about the proposed school and register your support visit www.haringtonschool.com/support-us.
Last month the Department for Education rejected plans to build a free school in Stamford.
The proposer team and the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, known as CMat, had hoped to secure funding for an 11 to 18 secondary school and improve the educational choice in the town.
But ministers instead advised CMat to join forces with the existing Stamford Queen Eleanor School and work to improve academic results there.