Hyndburn could be set to get its first free school under proposals outlined this week.
A group including teachers, parents, a professor of education and a doctor hope to open the Red Rose Community Free School in September 2015.
Free schools are all-ability schools funded by the government rather than the local education authority, which are designed to give parents more choice within the state-funded sector. The group say they believe parents need greater choice in their children’s education, and the school would cater for children aged four to 19.
Hattie Mackenzie, the lead proposer in the group, is a teacher and former commissioning manager of young people’s services.
She said: “We’re absolutely not knocking the fantastic work teachers in our schools do. But we’re hearing evidence of parents not being able to send their children to the same school or not getting their kids into their first choice school. We’ve had some really good reaction from people so far and we already have five or six children signed up for the reception class.”
The group is set to apply to the government in May to begin the process of opening the school. Talks are in progress about possible sites and Helen Barraclough, a specialist in primary and STEM education, has been announced as governor.
The school would take 75 pupils in reception and year 7 next year and maintain smaller class sizes than the average school.
Hattie, who has a two-year-old son of her own, said the people behind the plans would come from within the local community. She added: “If we get through this stage of the process we’ll go down to London for an interview and then we’ll find out in the autumn if we’ve been accepted.” The group is seeking more people to join its steering group, particularly those with an expertise in governance, legal issues or finance.
Anyone interested in either joining the steering group or commenting on the plans can visit www.redrosecommunity freeschool.co.uk.