1. ITV Report

New free school could occupy police HQ

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Photo: PA wires

The Government has approved plans to open a free school specialising in crime science in a revamped police headquarters building.

Scheduled to open in 2016 in Northampton, Wootton Park School will work closely with the police and fire service to promote an ethos of "public service and a stronger society".

The Northampton Free School Trust has said Wootton Park, initially catering for reception age pupils and children in Years 1, 7 and 8, expects to occupy and renovate the current Northamptonshire Police HQ at Wootton Hall.

It's one of 35 new free schools announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. These are the schools proposed for our region.

  • Bedford Technical Academy, Bedford, east of England secondary (ages 13 to 18), 624 places. A new school to be opened by Bedford College in 2016 to offer academic and technical subjects.
  • Grove House School, Essex, east of England special school (ages 9 to 19), 105 places. Set up by a group of parents whose children have special educational needs.
  • Wootton Park Free School, Northampton. (ages 4 to 18), 420 primary places, 600 secondary places, 240 post-16 places. To open in the current Northampton Police HQ by 2016, and address the need for school places in Northampton.
  • Daventry Special Academy, Northamptonshire, through special school (ages 4 to 18), 175 places. It will provide an all-through special school for pupils with learning difficulties in Daventry.,

The chairman of the Northampton Free School Trust, Andrew Sortwell, predicted that Wootton Park would increase local choice and diversity.

"I am delighted that the DfE has approved the opening of a new all-through free school.

"The school will be unique. It will offer something very different in terms of its internationally-focused curriculum and enrichment emphases."

– chairman of the Northampton Free School Trust, Andrew Sortwell