You must show interest in school, parents told

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AN MP has told parents they must show their support for a new free school – or face losing it altogether.

Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, was at Breckland Middle School, Brandon, last Friday for a public meeting and to give his backing to Sabres’ bid to open a free school on the site.

He told the meeting the bid would only succeed if parents declared an interest in sending their child to the school.

“We need these expressions of interest to show the bosses in London there’s enough support and signatures and that we can use this building for education in the years ahead,” he said.

Gordon Warnes, Sabres’ leader, said good progress had been made but that parents had to keep up their support.

The group needs 50 expressions of interest per year group for the bid to be accepted. According to Mr Warnes, responses for prospective Years 7, 8 and 9 for the 2012 intake were exceeding 50, but many more were needed from current Year 4 and 5 parents for 2013 and 2014.

He said: “We are very concerned – we must make sure that number is increased.”

Mr Warnes went on to say that the four-month tender process for education providers was nearing an end.

He said the provider would need to have education as its priority – not profits.

The consultation process for the bid ends on Wednesday, with the full application due to be entered mid-December.

If the bid is accepted by the Department for Education, the school, named Breckland Free School, would open in September 2012.