PROPOSALS to create a free school on a former north Durham industrial site have been shortlisted for consideration by the Government.

The team behind Genesis Primary Academy, a new primary school for Consett, have been invited for interview with the Department for Education.

The application for a new one-form independently run school on the former steelworks site was submitted in May.

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More than 250 parents have signed up to register their interest, more than double the number required.

The interview is in Manchester on Thursday, July 17.

The group is made up of parents, teachers and professionals, led by Kevin Dodd, who is currently headteacher of a successful outstanding primary academy in Kibblesworth.

Representatives will now have to give more details about their idea before it can make further progress.

He said the scheme has received huge support from people in the town.

Mr Dodd, from Consett, who has two grown-up children, as well as two young children, with his wife Tracy, who is also a teacher, said: “We are delighted to have reached the interview stage of the application process.

“We have been working hard to put together a strong application for a much-needed new primary school for Consett.”

If approved, the school is scheduled to open in September 2015 with a reception class along with year one and year two classes.

As the school grows, it will cater for children up to year 11 and provide wraparound care for pupils from 8am to 5.30pm.

Project Genesis has said a new building can be created on the former steelworks, but the development would need to be submitted to Durham County Council for planning approval.

A logo has been designed showing children playing in front of the school, with images from the town's industrial past in the background.

Mr Dodd said the proposed Genesis Primary Academy will have an ‘outstanding, imaginative, enjoyable and relevant’ curriculum based on the needs of families in the area.

He said: “We are hopeful with the strong support and the vision we have for the school we will be able to get approval to move into the next stage.”

Parents can register their support for the school together with interest in places for their children at

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