Holyport free school wins approval in Maidenhead

A bid to turn a former Berkshire school site into a free school has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead invited expressions of interest for the Holyport Manor site in Holyport, near Maidenhead.

After considering six proposals - four for schools and two for housing - the authority gave the green light for a secondary school for 500 pupils.

It said the £15m day and boarding school would offer increased choice.

It will be the borough's first free school - meaning it will be state-funded, non-selective and free to attend but not controlled by the local authority.

The new school will have no religious affiliation. Boarders will have to pay a fee, although bursaries will be available.

'Future need'

The Holyport Manor site in Ascot Road became vacant after the special school based there was replaced by Manor Green School in Elizabeth Hawkes Way, which opened in September 2010.

Holyport Free School was one of 102 new free schools in England approved by The Department for Education in July.

Council leader David Burbage said: "With primary school numbers rising rapidly across the borough there will be a future need for more secondary school places.

"The free school was the only state-funded proposal received by the council and will mean the council may not have to look to provide additional secondary accommodation itself - a significant cost saving to local council taxpayers."

After winning its bid for the site, the school will now have to submit a planning application.

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