New free school on the cards for Mablethorpe?

Mablethorpe site of the Springwell Learning Community.
Mablethorpe site of the Springwell Learning Community.

A formal consultation will begin this week on proposals to open a new free school in Mablethorpe for children who struggle to access mainstream education.

It has been proposed that the free school would operate from the former Monks’ Dyke Tennyson College site in Seaholme Road.

David Whitaker, the executive principal at Wellspring Academy Trust which is proposing to run the free school, said: “We are looking to develop an alternative free school that will cater for vulnerable and challenging youngsters from Key Stage 1 (primary school age) to Key Stage 4 (secondary) - housed all under one site.”

Wellspring Academy Trust, working alongside Lincolnshire County Council and the Department for Education, is looking to open four sites across Lincolnshire including Lincoln, Grantham and Spalding.

The public six-week consultation, which starts on Friday (September 29), will focus on all four sites. Challenging youngsters have been taught at the old school site in Mablethorpe over the last year in temporary portable cabins. A Wellspring Academy Trust spokesperson said that the refurbishment work on the former main Monks’ Dyke site is currently an interim solution to allow the pupils to move out of the portable cabins, which were only intended as a short term solution.

They also confirmed that there are currently no plans to demolish any of the buildings on site.

“We are currently in the pre-opening phase,” Mr Whitaker added.

“Nothing is official yet, until after the public consultation.

“The Mablethorpe site has been planned out in three phases: providing a temporary site for the children to use (portable cabins), then we hope to renovate some of the buildings, and finally - over the next 18 months - undergo some significant work at the school.”

The free school in Mablethorpe would be called Springwell Mablethorpe - named after Springwell Lincoln City Academy which is currently in operation.

A consultation evening is also set to be held on Wednesday, October 11 at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding, where parents and residents can find out further information on the proposed free school.

This latest news comes after plans for a mainstream Coastal Free School, which would have provided further secondary education in the area, were halted in May after the main education trust they were working alongside withdrew their support.

n What are thoughts on these new plans? Email: chloe.west@jpress.co.uk.