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420 new places for Kent pupils as new free school announced in Gravesham

PUBLISHED: 15:46 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:42 09 February 2016

Students in a classroom

Students in a classroom

Archant

The announcement came on Friday

A new free school in Northfleet, Gravesham, has been announced today, providing up to 420 primary school places for local children.

Hope Community School will provide the places for four to 11-year-olds, and is proposed to open in September 2017.

Despite operating as a Christian faith school, the mainsteam school will be open to families of all or no faiths.

First opening to two classes of 30, 60 new pupils will be introduced each year, until it reaches its 420 pupil capacity in 2023.

It is the third school to be opened by the New Schools Community Trust, with one entering its third year in Sidcup, and the other based in Southampton.

Nick Timothy, director of New Schools Network, a charity dedicated to supporting groups aiming to set up free schools, said: “THe application process to set up a free school is incredibly rigorous - as it should be - so it is a testament to New Generation Schools Trust’s hard work that they have been approved.

“We know this new school will be a great addition to the area. There are now more than 304 open free schools with another 138 on the way around the country.

“They are providing popular with parents and adding good new school places to their local communities.”

The new school was announced by the government last week as part of 22 new schools across the country.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school.

“Parents are flocking to them in their droves - and today’s announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.”

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