The head of The Suthers School, Andrew Pettit, at the Fernwood site, where it is hoped the school's new multi-million-pound premises will open in 2019 130617TV3-1
The head of The Suthers School, Andrew Pettit, at the Fernwood site, where it is hoped the school's new multi-million-pound premises will open in 2019 130617TV3-1

Parents who have enrolled their children into a free school are breathing a sigh of relief after the Government confirmed it could open in September.

There had been doubts that The Suthers School would be given the go-ahead to open in time for the new academic year.

It will open in a temporary home at Toot Hill School, Bingham, while purpose-built premises are built at Fernwood Business Park.

Newark MP Mr Robert Jenrick organised a meeting with schools minister Lord Nash on Tuesday for Mr John Tomasevic, chief executive of the Nova Education Trust, which is behind the free school plans.

"Parents will be delighted."

The delay in final approval being given was blamed on the General Election.

The funding agreement for The Suthers School will now be signed.

Mr Jenrick said yesterday: “The meeting with Lord Nash was a great success.
“He called us afterwards to confirm we are on.

“The school will open in September, which is great news. Parents will be delighted.”

The school’s head will be Mr Andrew Pettit.

The Suthers School will open in a former youth club building at Toot Hill that is undergoing a £½m renovation. It will share facilities, including for sport.

Free buses will be provided until the new school is ready.

The Suthers School is due to open at Fernwood in September, 2019.

The new building would be designed around an extended working day, as well as community use.

The intention is to grow the school by a new year seven every September until it is a complete secondary school with a sixth form.

The catchment area will include Fernwood and Middlebeck — the name given to the first wave of houses that will be built as part of the Growth Point development south of Newark.

It is hoped The Suthers School will help to stem the flow of Newark pupils out of the town for secondary education.

Mr Tomasevic said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Department for Education has confirmed The Suthers School can proceed towards opening in September 2017.

“This is great news for students and parents and rewards the patience, tenacity and unwavering support parents have shown the school over the last few months.

“We would also like to thank Robert Jenrick MP for his unstinting support in making this new school a reality. 

“We have been working very hard in the background to ensure that even at this late stage everything is in place to deliver a fully operational school on September 4.

“We are now very excited to welcome our first cohort of students to The Suthers School and start a new chapter in the education of the young people in Newark.”