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Norbury free school planners prepare for final hurdle

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BACKERS of a free school planned for Norbury are preparing to cross the final hurdle which they hope will lead to approval.

They will be presenting their case for the Advance School to a meeting of officials from the Department for Education (DfE) on April 3.

They expect to learn whether approval to open the school has been granted in May.

The Advance School, if approved, will eventually cater for 630 pupils aged four to 11, and will be based at the former Age UK offices in London Road, Norbury. It would open initially with 90 pupils.

Russell King, founder of the school, is emphasising a key "selling point" of having two teachers, instead of one, taking classes in maths and English.

Mr King said this week: "We are delighted that the DfE has recognised the quality of our application and agreed to interview us. We have a great team of highly skilled people involved so we are looking forward to the interview.

"There were around 250 free school applications last year of which just under half reached the interview stage.

"Of those the vast majority were successful, so it is very good news for us to learn that we have reached the penultimate stage before approval."


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