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Temporary site plans for new Reach Free School in Rickmansworth area
A new secondary school due to open in the Rickmansworth area later this year may operate out of temporary premises "for two to four years" before moving to a permanent site.
The Reach Free School will take 120 pupils in each year and is listed as an additional choice this year meaning parents of pupils entering year seven in September can express an interest without jeopardising places at other schools.
No site has yet been formally agreed between the school’s management, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the Department for Education (DfE) but principal designate Richard Booth says an announcement is expected soon.
He said: "We are about to start a pre-planning application on a permanent site for the school.
"When we know the result of that we will know whether we can then proceed to the next stage.
"It’s not really down to us, we put forward sites but it is for EFA and DfE to make the final decision.
"We are also looking at a temporary site for the school on a different site which we will use for between two and four years.
"It is likely that will be the way we do it.
"We have looked at building a temporary school on the site of the permanent one but we are now looking to move into something that is already established then renovate it.
"The temporary site will be considerably smaller than the real site."
Since the organisation first began planning for a new school in 2010, speculation has been rife about where it will be located and is a question the team are still frequently asked by prospective parents.
However, Mr Booth says the proposed school has received a near-universal positive response with 93 per cent of respondents to a recent consultation saying they support the idea of the school.
He added that a "significant number" of applications had been received from parents of children living in Rickmansworth, Mill End, Croxley Green and the surrounding area following a series of presentation events.
He said: "For us it has been very encouraging to go out into the community and speak to people who are sharing our vision for a school that’s not physically there.
"It is moving on, it moves on all the time.
"It has been such a long process to go through, since we started this journey in 2010 it has been about where will this school be located.
The new school will have no selection criteria for admissions and places at the school will be offered purely on distance, until a site is established the distance will be measured from the entrance to Mill End Sports and Social Club.
Applications will close this Friday although parents who have not applied can add their children to a waiting list after receiving their offers from Hertfordshire County Council on March 1.