The withdrawal of Support from The David Ross Education Trust (DRET) has dealt a major blow to plans to set up a new Coastal Free School in Mablethorpe. The trust was an important part of the plans for the school which would have finally seen secondary education coming back to the town after Monks’ Dyke Tennyson College shut down its local campus. According to a statement that was released by the project team of the Coast Free School, the trust withdrew its support due to concerns over the number of students who would be attending the school. This was later confirmed by the trust’s spokesperson.
The project team for the Coastal Free School also stated that in light of the trusts withdrawal, it was not likely for an application to be submitted to the Department of Education. The team said that it had already explored other avenues and one member of the project team, Chris Flanagan said the new development was very disappointing considering the work that has been going on for nearly two years. The team released the information because they felt that it was important for the community to know that they’d suffered a serious setback.
For parents and locals who’d been calling for secondary education to be brought back to Mablethorpe, the news comes as a big blow. At the moment, pupils have been forced to go to schools located outside the town with some even travelling as far as Louth. Joyce Taylor, a town councillor, has said that she was extremely gutted by the news. She was a stronger supporter of the project and she said that this was a sad time for the town. However, the councillor is still hopeful that secondary education will come back to the town in the future and she stated that she wasn’t giving up on the idea just yet because this was something that the town really needed. She added that the idea of a free school in the town was still a possibility and there was nothing to stop them from trying again in the future.
The Coastal Free School was supposed to have opened in 2018 if the plans had gone ahead as scheduled. The project team for the free school will be having a general meeting during which they will weigh their options. However, a date is yet to be set for the meeting.