Radlett free school gets Government go-ahead

The proposed site of the new school

The proposed site of the new school - Credit: Archant

IT’S all systems go for a new free school that is set to open in Radlett next September now the Government has given it the official nod.

Secretary of State Michael Grove announced today Harperbury Free School was among more than 100 free school applications across the country to have been approved.

The new secondary school will offer 120 places each year from September 2014 to pupils aged 11 to 18, with the admissions policy based solely on their proximity to the site.

Clive Glover, chairman of the Harperbury group, said: “Of course we are absolutely delighted with this news which means that families in Shenley, Radlett, London Colney, Bricket Wood and Borehamwood will have a new local choice of secondary school for their children from next year.

“I should like to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of people who have supported us over the past two years as we have developed our plans and made our application.”

The dad-of-two first came up with the idea when he was looking around a dozen different secondary schools for his son and identified there was a need for somewhere youngsters could study locally.

Around two years ago a group of parents and teachers joined forces and started formulating the plans, which led to them submitting a 150-page application in January.

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They hope the school will be built on the former Harperbury Hospital site, which is in the Green Belt, but this is subject to ongoing negotiations between the land owners, the Department of Health, and local planning authorities.

Campaigners would also like at least 40 per cent of pupils to be able to walk or cycle to school.

Mr Glover added: “However much we have done so far we realise that the real work begins today to ensure we are ready for our first students next year.”

Parents will be able to apply for places at Harperbury Free School from October through Herts County Council.