Parents’ support for North Devon school bid

Route 39 proposal to build new comprehensive in Torridge proves popular at free open day.

PARENTS bidding to create a new secondary school in North Devon were delighted by a resounding endorsement as more than 1,200 people attended a free open day event at the Milky Way.

Community group Route 39 hosted the “Free Day at the Milky Way” event as an opportunity for local parents and children to find out more about its plans for a new school somewhere along the A39 between Welcombe and Bucks Cross.

The group is aiming to win funding through the Government Free School initiative to build a state comprehensive funded directly from Westminster and free to set its own curriculum, teachers’ pay and most aspects of how the school is run.

The Milky Way event on Saturday was open to parents who had downloaded a free entry voucher from the Route 39 website.

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“The event showed that there was massive local endorsement for the proposal,” said Sophie Poklewski Koziell, one of the Route 39 parents.

“By the end of the day parents had put down the proposed new school as the first choice for more 530 children - that is equal to nine out of every 10 children attending.”

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Route 39 is encouraging parents to sign an on-line petition of support before it goes to the Department for Education.

Currently more than 300 local families and 600 children have stated they would choose the proposed school.

A series of coffee mornings are planned for January and February for those who haven’t yet had a chance to find out about the project. Visit for more information.

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