Parents propose new free school

Wendover parents including Stuart Bowell,  Ellie Kirby and Katinka Nessbach want to set up the Chiltern Rideway School

Wendover parents including Stuart Bowell, Ellie Kirby and Katinka Nessbach want to set up the Chiltern Rideway School

A group of parents want to set up a new secondary school in the Vale in a bid to secure more choice for children.

Katinka Nessbach, mother to twins Lola and Oscar, eight, and Lucas, five came up with the idea for Chiltern Ridgeway School, which would be founded under the Government’s free school programme.

She enlisted the help of a group of likeminded Wendover parents, who have set about creating a plan for their perfect school, which would be non-selective and give an alternative to bigger schools such as the John Colet and Grange.

Katinka, who says that the school would be located between Wendover and Prestwood and could be open by September 2016, said: “There is a local need for more choice of schools at secondary level.

“Local primary schools have either have to increase their intake due to additional demand for school places or are oversubscribed. In time this will lead to an increase in demand for places at secondary level. Local secondary schools are already at full capacity.”

She added: “Our school will be a small school with 80 pupils per year group, in four classes of 20, enabling teachers to focus on the needs of every member of their class.”

A site is yet to be found for the school and the group will start searching if the plans are approved by the Government.

The parents held a public meeting to discuss the plans at Wendover Library on Wednesday.

Katinka said: “It went really well. The room was full, there were lots of questions from people who obviously knew lots about education.

“People were taking it very seriously, there was lots of very positive feedback.

“One lady was there whose son goes to the free school in Winslow (Sir Thomas Fremantle) and she said it has transformed him.”

Katinka said that even if her children passed the 11+ exam, she would still want to send them to Chiltern Ridgeway.

She said: “A lot of my friends have asked me that question, I’ve got three children and they are obviously all different, and every parent knows that not all kids thrive in the same environments, but I would want them to go to this school.




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