The new Chiltern Academy will be a mixed-sex, 11-16 secondary Free School for 1200 students when at capacity and will follow the National Curriculum with specialist areas of Sport, Engineering and Business.
The Chiltern Learning Trust currently runs Luton’s two highest performing secondary schools and applied to open the new Academy because Luton will need approximately 180 more secondary school places than will be available by September 2018.
Adrian Rogers, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
“Everyone at the Chiltern Learning Trust is delighted with the news that we have been successful in our bid to build a new school in Luton. It will be a wonderful and exciting opportunity for the children and community to attend a new secondary school. Thank you to all the staff that helped write the bid, and to the 700 parents that supported us.”
This successful bid represents many months of hard work, including a 100-page application form containing detailed education plans. The Trust also had to provide evidence as to why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support. More than 700 parents signed-up to say that this school would be their first choice, and we hope to open the new school in September 2018.
The Chiltern Academy is one of 22 new schools that have been approved today – providing more than 18,000 places for parents across the country. This includes:
1 school in the East of England, creating 1200 places;
1 school in the East Midlands, creating 500 places;
2 schools in Yorkshire and the Humber, creating 1560 places;
1 school in the North East, creating 1200 places;
3 schools in the North West, creating 2350 places;
2 schools in the South East, creating 1320 places;
3 schools in the South West, creating 2870 places;
1 school in the West Midlands, creating 446 places; and
8 schools in London, creating 6756 places.
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for children and young people said:
“It’s great to hear about the Chiltern Academy proposal, particularly as Luton is facing a potential shortage of places for secondary schools. Whilst we have previously tried to mitigate this by expanding existing schools, this is no longer an option and the free school process is the most cost effective way of meeting future demand. We’re pleased that Chiltern, who already run two outstanding schools in Luton, have been successful in having their application approved.”
Nick Timothy, Director of New Schools Network, said:
“The application process to set up a free school is incredibly rigorous so it is a testament to the hard work of the Chiltern Learning Trust that they have been approved to open.
“This latest announcement means the total number of free schools open or approved to open has now exceeded 440 which marks an incredible milestone. Free schools are proving increasingly popular with parents and are providing good new schools places for their local communities.”