NEW plans which will increase the size of the Durand Academy boarding school at Stedham are set to be submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority.
The application, it is believed, will include a proposal for sixth form facilities on the site of the former St Cuthman’s School which sits on the borders of Stedham, Woolbeding and Redford.
In a recent article published by The Guardian, chairman of school governors Kevin Craig said: “We are experiencing a very high level of interest in the boarding school from parents, with record numbers attending a recent open evening for year 7 students.”
He added: “Our exciting development plans will enable us to continue to offer our pupils opportunities that are normally only available to those with considerable wealth via the private sector or through selective education.”
The planning application is expected to be submitted early in the new year and Mr Craig hopes the facilities will be ready for the intake of pupils in September next year.
Ambitious and controversial plans to open a free weekly boarding school for 625 pupils, including a sixth form on the site, were later scaled down.
The project had a department for education agreement to co-fund the school to the tune of £17.34m The re-submitted plan was to bus 375 inner city children from Lambeth to the weekly boarding school and the sixth form facility was omitted.
But this plan was rejected by the national park in December 2013.
The Durand Academy appealed against the decision, but later withdrew its appeal and paid costs to the national park and campaigners who opposed the plan and had spent money preparing to object at appeal.
But Durand opened its doors at St Cuthman’s to 48 pupils aged 13-14 last autumn. The school told The Guardian it was currently unable to expand beyond 79 pupils.
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