Application for new school

By a County Press reporter

Friday, January 10, 2014


PLANS for a new primary school, put forward by a parent-led community group on the Isle of Wight, have been submitted to the Department for Education (DfE).

In a statement issued today (Friday), those behind the Sylvan School, said they had submitted an application for a new primary school for 280 children to open in September 2015. 

If successful, the school will have class sizes of no more than 20 children and will aim to provide 50 per cent of learning experiences outside the classroom.  There will be a greater emphasis on project-based learning and allowing children to follow their own interests and passions, a spokesman said.

Amy McCulloch of the Sylvan School said: "We are delighted to be making this application to the Department for Education for a new school for the Island. 

"We have been working with the local community for the last 15 months and have been overwhelmed with the level of local support; to date over 500 families have already come forward to support our proposals. 

"We hope to have some positive news to share with them in the spring, when we expect to hear whether our application has been approved by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove."

Those behind the plans have been working with national charity, the New Schools Network (NSN).

Natalie Evans, Director of New Schools Network said: "The Sylvan School has worked hard to prepare an application for the Department for Education and we very much hope they will have the chance to put their plans into action when government announces later in the spring which groups have been given the green light to open. 

"There are nearly 300 Free Schools open or due to open this September which are proving popular with parents and adding good new schools places to their local communities."


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by Geoff Mason

14th January 2014, at 20:34:59

Thank you all for your interest in our new school. We are certainly very excited about the opportunities that it will offer the children of the Island.

To avoid further speculation, and to clear up a few inaccuracies, I can confirm that we will not be building a new school; we will be using one of the existing, unused, former primaries. Until we receive government approval we are not at liberty to say which premises we will use.

Our school will employ Reggio and Forest School techniques; this is new and completely unique, not only among Island schools, but nationally. There is much new, learned research which shows that children respond extremely well to these student-led forms of learning. There is always a need for choice and innovation in education and, as our market research has conclusively shown, a great number of Island parents want this style of schooling.

If you would like to learn more about our school, plans and curriculum please visit our website; thesylvanschool.o

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by Alison Langdon

10th January 2014, at 21:42:16

My daughter attends an Island primary school with only 13 children in her year. She has a massively varied curriculum and a large amount of learning is already 'out of the classroom'. Children at her school are always encouraged to follow their own interests. I know there are many similar schools already here. Don't want to seem critical, but this idea is not unique.

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by Colin Russell

10th January 2014, at 21:30:48

Why do we need another school there are so many spare places in the school,s that are already open,,,,,, as usual its going to be the children that suffer again moving chrildren around,

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by Don Prescott

10th January 2014, at 19:36:53

Upper Ventnor, on the industrial estate near St. Margarets Glade.

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by Stephen Elliott

10th January 2014, at 19:18:39

Exactly Lee...Where????

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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