Plans for free schools are sent off to Whitehall

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Three proposals to create new schools in the region have been passed on to the Department for Education for consideration.

The Stamford Free School bid has been submitted by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.

Plans for a special school in Oakham have been drawn up by Birch Wood School in Melton.

And Catmose College in Oakham and Uppingham Community College have teamed up to propose Harington School, a post-16 facility in Rutland.

All three bids have been submitted to the Government in the latest window for free school funding. The proposer groups will be interviewed as part of the application process, with final decisions expected in April.

The Stamford Free School bid was explained to the public at a meeting chaired by Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles on Friday last 

Parent Robbie O’Driscoll, who was part of the original proposer group, said it was a relief to see the bid finally submitted.

He added: “It’s the culmination of a year’s hard graft. We are really looking forward to finding out out what the result will be.”

The group behind the proposal want to create more choice for secondary pupils in Stamford and the surrounding villages. A location for the new school has not yet been chosen, but the team is only considering options within Stamford.

Birch Wood School’s bid was also submitted on Friday last week. The special school, which is provisionally named Rutland Free School, would cater for youngsters aged five to 19 with complex learning difficulties.

Based in Oakham, it would have space for about 50 pupils and would open in September should funding be approved.

Birch Wood headteacher Phil Ormerod said he was delighted that the bid was ready to submit.

Harington School will cater for students throughout the county and offer A-levels for students looking to apply to Russell Group universities and enrichment activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme.

The schools believe a new sixthform provision is needed because there is only one state-run post-16 college in the county, Rutland County College, and pupils have to travel long distances for an alternative option.

Speaking about the bid, which will be submitted today, Catmose College principal Stuart Williams said: “It’s a bit of a relief because it’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point.

“The support for the sixthform is there and hopefully it will be given approval.”

The decision on the location of the school is made by Government experts.

The school will be run separately from Uppingham and Catmose and have its own board of governors, policies and headteacher.

If the plans are given the green light, Mr Williams says he hopes the provision will be in place for students starting their A-levels in September 2015.

Rutland County College principal Victoria Crosher and head of centre Carl Smith believe there is no need for the free school as their facility can meet the demand in numbers of students looking to study A-levels in Rutland.