New free school approved for Crystal Palace

This Is Local London: CPPS CPPS

A new free school has today been approved for Crystal Palace.

Led by a core group of 12 local parents and teachers, Crystal Palace Primary School (CPPS) is set to open in September 2015 having been approved by the Department for Education alongside 38 others across the country. 

In an announcement on its website, CPPS said its conception comes as a direct response to parents who “expressed concerns about the lack of primary school places in the area”.

The team said “action was taken” after projected figures showed that by 2016 224 more 4-5 year-olds will be living in the area.

Head of the school’s steering group, Jacqui Esimaje-Heath, 44, told News Shopper: “We are thrilled to receive this news – it’s just brilliant.

“I live five minutes from the triangle and went to school in the area – it’s great we’re going to get a new primary school that’s desperately needed. I didn’t realise how bad the situation was.”

Ms Esimaje-Heath’s son is set to begin his education in September, but will not go to CPPS.

She said she knows the governing body will come under “considerable scrutiny” in the coming months, with some free schools said to be underperforming.

She added: “I know some people are opposed to the principle and they’re entitled to their opinion.

“For me it’s a very simple route to take.”

With Crystal Palace at a point where five London boroughs meet, it is thought some parents in the area have struggled to find places for their children.

CPPS is now looking for a premises and discussions with the Education Funding Authority are set for the coming months.

The free school's catchment area is likely to extend to parts of Penge, Upper Norwood, and Upper Sydenham, and its 420 places will be determined by ballot.

It will be non-denominational and will follow the National Curriculum, with an emphasis on mathematics.

To find out more about the project visit the CPPS website

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