Devon Wildlife Trust wants to open a “free” primary school

“PLANS have been unveiled to build Devon’s first nature school aimed at nursery and primary school children.

Devon Wildlife Trust has revealed it wants to open the school for 3 to 11-year-old using the free school model widely adopted elsewhere.

The nature school would be a mainstream school, open to all, following the National Curriculum, but one which the charity says would put outdoor learning and the natural environment at the heart of a high quality education for local children.

Okehampton has been put forward as the proposed location for the school because it has been identified by Devon County Council as an area where there is an urgent need for more primary school places.

If the trust’s proposals are successful the nature school would occupy new premises to be built on the north-east outskirts of the town close to Crediton Road .

The application is planned for spring 2017 with a scheduled school opening estimated as early as 2018.

Devon Wildlife Trust is now talking to local authorities, people and schools in the West Devon market town to gauge their support for the proposal. The trust’s chief executive Harry Barton said: “We are seeking support from members of the community across Okehampton, in particular from parents whose children would be eligible to attend primary school in 2018 or 2019 and who live in the Okehampton area or nearby.”