AFTER many years of campaigning a new school is finally going to be built on one of Europe’s largest private housing estates.

Calls for a new secondary school at Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, long predate the current Government’s ‘free’ school programme.

Now the campaigning parents, many of whose children are now too old to go to the new school, have announced funding is definitely in place and it will open this September.

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The Ingleby Manor Foundation Trust was informed on Monday, March 24, that the Government had approved the school’s Funding Agreement.

For the first year, the school will operate from a converted warehouse on Teesside Industrial Estate, just off the A19 near Ingleby Barwick.

A purpose-built school will be established on Low Lane and is expected to open in September, 2015.

The money for the new building will come from housing developers who have permission to build 350 houses nearby.

Another, related application to build 550 homes in the same area will be considered by Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, April 1.

The Government will deal with money for building costs but money for each pupil at the school will be given directly to the Trust.

So far, between 70 and 80 pupils have registered with the school. More students are expected to enrol in the coming weeks and the school could accommodate 120 first years.

Stephen Fryer, chairman of the parent and community group who have secured the school, said: “It’s taken us four years to secure our new secondary school, but it’s all been worth it to get this news today.”

James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, said: “So many people have put countless hours of work into bringing this new secondary school forward and this crucial announcement means we are even closer to its completion.”

The principal for the school, David Willard, has already been appointed along with three teachers.

It is hoped the new school will eventually accommodate 600 pupils plus another 150 sixth form places.

Of the 1,600 secondary aged school children currently living in Ingleby Barwick more than 1,000 attend schools outside of the immediate area.

A free school is a state school outside of local authority control. No-one could be contacted for comment from Stockton Borough Council.