REACTIONS to a new Church of England primary school in Tonbridge have been overwhelmingly positive, the school trust’s CEO has claimed.
It was announced in December that Bishops Chavasse Primary School has applied to open its doors to 60 pupils from September this year. A public consultation set up by the Tenax Schools Trust to gauge reaction to the plans ends today (Wednesday).
While it was thought that proposals to offer a quarter of places each year to children from families with ‘commitment to the Christian faith’ may court controversy, this has not proven to be the case, according to the Trust CEO Ian Bauckham.
Out of the 120 responses that resulted from the public consultation, only a handful had been negative, according to Mr Bauckham, with the majority of comments suggesting a ‘strong appetite’ for the town’s first Church of England school.
The Tenax Schools Trust, which also runs Bennett Memorial School in Tunbridge Wells, confirmed that the new CofE primary school will be located next to the new Somerhill Green housing development. The first intake of 60 pupils will be housed in temporary classrooms.
Up to 15 of the places each year will be filled by children from families who attend church at least twice a month. If they are not filled, the remainder will be added to the pot of 45 ‘open places’.
A funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education, as well as planning permission from the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, are expected to be confirmed by March.
The Trust is currently holding open events for prospective parents, with one this evening (Wednesday), from 7pm at St Stephen’s Church, Waterloo Road.