Government approves new free school for Hatfield

A NEW free school will be opening in Hatfield in time for the next school year, following the Government’s approval of the scheme this week.

Hatfield Community Free School will be built on the site of the former New Briars Primary School in Briars Lane, which was closed in 2007.

The building will be demolished and replaced with a single storey, two-form entry primary school with new pupil drop off, new pedestrian access and re-graded playing fields.

The school will be independent and state funded, and will go some way to tackling the need for school paces in Hatfield, which was expected to have a shortage of 75 school places by the 2012/13 academic year.

In developing the application process, the School received interest from hundreds of local parents, which was necessary for the Government approval.

The new school proposal was the idea of Gill Jones, a former headteacher and Ofsted inspector, who told the WHT back in March she wanted to build “a school where every child knows they are on the way to college or university”.

Her application was supported by a steering group of Hatfield parents, the University of Hertfordshire, Onslow St Audrey’s School and Hertfordshire County Council.

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Steering group member Catherine Tallis said: “This is fantastic news for all parents of pre-school children in Hatfield. It has involved a great amount of commitment and energy to get this far.

“Not only will this be an excellent school and community facility but will secure parental choice of schools across the town.”

It is hoped the school will be ready in time for the new school year in September 2012, and the application process for school places will open on November 14, 2011.