Plans for new school dropped

By Ross Findon

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


PLANS for a new school on the Isle of Wight have been dropped after failing to gain the support of the Department for Education.

The group behind the Sylvan School hoped to open it in September 2015, catering for children in reception and Years 1 and 2.

But a statement issued last night (Monday) on the school’s Facebook page and website said it had suffered a major blow and would not be opening.

The statement said: "The team behind the Sylvan School would like to thank the Isle of Wight community for their support and enthusiasm for their vision to host a new outdoor school. Despite an overwhelming response from over 600 local parents and a promising educational vision, the team behind the school suffered a major blow to their plans at the final stage of the application process.

"The team were overwhelmed by the amount of support from local businesses, community members and parents who signed their children up to the school.

"Having submitted the 100 page application following 18 months of intensive effort, the team were disappointed that the Department for Education declined to progress the application into pre-opening stage.

"The DfE felt that the group did not demonstrate a proven track record of school leadership. The Sylvan School will therefore not open.

"The team have always been aware of the surplus of primary school places on the Isle of Wight, but felt that the strong educational vision for child-centred learning would have helped to provide a choice for parents.

"However, current educational policy is not in favour of a child-centred approach, as illustrated by the recently reported story about the Ofsted Chief Inspector Michael Wilshaw’s policy on sacking inspectors who believe in such principles.

"The team stand firmly by their principles and are exploring alternative methods of delivering their vision. They hope to reach out to schools and home educators, supporting anyone who believes in progressive education."

It said anyone interested in contributing to the development of the vision, or who felt they had the capacity to strengthen the application with leadership expertise, could contact


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