In one of his final acts as Prime Minister, David Cameron gave permission for a new free school to be built in Littlehampton.
Schoolsworks Community Primary School was one of 31 projects approved by Mr Cameron and should be open in September 2018.
Under the Academies Act 2010, all new schools have to be opened as academies or free schools.
Mr Cameron said free schools had been “at the heart of this government’s education reforms” and added: “More than 300 have been created since I became Prime Minister and 200 are set to open meaning tens of thousands more young people, many from disadvantaged areas, finally have a choice of a good education that helps them reach their full potential.”
Schoolsworks already runs River Beach and Rustington schools, as well as others in Selsey and Bognor Regis.
The new school, which is expected to be built to the north of the town, would initially cater for 60 Reception children plus 30 nursery places, rising to more than 480 places by the mid 2020s when the school would be full.
Chris Seaton, CEO of Schoolsworks, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support of the local community and prospective parents in the area for this school and we are glad that the plans have now received government approval.
“Schoolsworks received dozens of letters of support from local primary and secondary schools, from businesses, local politicians, churches and other community groups all of which recognise that there is a desperate need for more school places in Littlehampton, particularly with more housing developments under way.
“With over 380 signatures of support from parents of school-aged children, we are delighted that the model of school we have offered is clearly a good fit for the needs of this community and that this is recognised by the DfE.”
Sarah Pearson, interim director of New Schools Network, an independent charity that provides advice and resources for those interested in starting a free school, said: “The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to Schoolsworks’ hard work that they have been approved to open.
“Yesterday’s announcement means the total number of free schools open or approved to open has now exceeded 450 – an incredible milestone, with more than 250,000 places now created by free schools.
“It is clear that the free schools programme is continuing apace, providing good new school places to local communities and proving increasingly popular with parents.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittlehamptonGazette
3) Follow us on Twitter @LhamptonGazette
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.