Soham partnership is front runner to manage new primary school for town

A PARTNERSHIP made up of six schools has emerged as the front runner in a bid to sponsor a new primary school in Soham.

The Staploe Schools Partnership, made up of Soham Village College, Weatheralls Primary, St Andrew’s Primary, Kennett Primary, Isleham CofE Primary and Fordham CofE Primary are the only sponsor in the running after Lilac Sky Schools pulled out.

The partnership presented its case to be the driving force behind the new school, set to be built at The Shade, at a meeting held in the Walter Gidney Pavillion on Wednesday, with dozens turning out to hear its proposal.

A spokesman for the partnership said: “The new school will be well-organised and well-led. We will appoint a head teacher, teacher and other support staff who will share our high expectations and ambition for the school and for every individual child.

Dr Carin Taylor, principal of Soham Village College, added: ‘The heads of the Soham and outlying village schools work closely and believe that together we can ensure that the new school offers the very best for the young people of north Soham.

“Our proposal offers exceptional continuity of learning for young people aged 2-16. It is a proposal deeply rooted in our community. We share a long-standing commitment and capacity to improve provision and raise standards not just in our own schools, but in all of our schools.”

Under new Government legislation, Cambridgeshire County Council was not allowed to run the school, which is expected to be opened for its first intake in September 2013, and had to invite bidders.

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Plans for the school have attracted some controversy in light of a planning application for a new supermarket, set to be built just yards from where the new school is scheduled to be built.

In August, developers behind the supermarket, Harrier Developments, revealed that they had warned Cambridgeshire County Council that is was a “terrible” location for a primary school.

Though the school now has planning permission, the supermarket will have to wait until November before it is expected to be put before councillors on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee.