Plans for a new free school in Great Harwood have been given the green light by Hyndburn Borough Council.
Councillors agreed to support the plans for The Evergreen School after the school’s trustees presented their proposals at a Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting.
The school, which will be open to children aged 11 to 18, is hoped to be opening in September 2018.
It has been awarded a place on the New Schools Network’s Development Programme, which is designed to help groups that want to set up new free schools.
Trustees are now preparing an application for government funding and their chances of success have been boosted after the council said the plans fit with its ‘strategic vision to improve the educational standards in the borough’.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “The council supports the proposal for The Evergreen School, a new free school in Great Harwood to provide secondary education.
“The creation of the school fits within the council’s strategic vision to improve the educational standards in the borough and address local industry and employment issues.”
Trustees said the school will have a ‘distinct ethos’ and focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, sustainability and the environment, creativity, independence and community spirit.
It will also follow the national curriculum as well as offering pupils an ‘individualised learning experience’ through the use of project based learning, outdoor education and workshops with industry professionals.
Police Inspector Andy Moore, chairman of the trustees, said the school will provide parents and pupils with greater choice and help to raise education standards in the area.
He said: “The response to our plans has been really positive so it’s all systems go as we push on with our application for government funding.
“We believe the addition of a new free school with a supportive, collaborative, outward focus could help promote an upward trajectory of school improvement across the town.
“We aim for all pupils to achieve a minimum five A*-C GCSE including English and maths and achieve the Ebacc.”
The school’s trustees said they have already been inundated with expressions of interest from parents of prospective students since they unveiled their plans at the end of May.
Any parents of prospective pupils who wish to register their interest or find out more are being invited to visit www.evergreen-school.uk .