Government approval for Woking secondary free school

Secondary school pupils - generic The Hoe Valley Free School will benefit children living in south Woking

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A new secondary free school in Surrey has been approved by the Department for Education (DfE).

The Hoe Valley Free School is set to open in September 2015 and will serve the local children of south Woking.

Campaigners said it would be an 11 to 18 "co-educational, non-selective, all-ability" school with 120 pupils in Year 7 which would grow year on year.

Spokeswoman Claerwyn Hamilton-Wilkes said it would give students "the opportunity and choice they deserve".

'Shortage of places'

Free schools are set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, businesses, universities, trusts, religious or voluntary groups, but funded directly by central government.

Parents in south Woking had been campaigning for the new school due to a shortage of places in the area.

The Surrey school is one of 38 free schools, recently approved by the DfE.

Campaigners were supported by education professionals and local business people, with expressions of interest received from more than 800 families.

Mrs Hamilton-Wilkes added: "We will now be working with the DfE to get the school up and running starting with the very important task of recruiting our head teacher."

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