A NEW school is being planned for Woolston that would operate outside council control.

A Daresbury-based company called Great Schools For All Children is currently asking parents to sign up to a petition for the ‘free school’.

If the concept gets enough support it will open in September 2012 as Kings School Woolston.

It will be run as an academy for children aged between 12 and 18 by ‘an independent body of outstanding school leaders and teachers’.

The survey has been handed out at Woolston Community Primary School and Woolston CE Primary School.

It reads: “We are planning to develop a small academy so we can ensure that personalised learning and support for every student is quality driven.

“Our days will be designed and structured to get the best out of our students’ abilities and talents.”

However, the survey does not declare who is behind the academy or where it will be built.

Councillors believe that Sir Ian Hall, the former head teacher of Parrs Wood High School in Manchester, is behind the group, and that the school will be built at the existing high school which is due to close in July 2012.

Nasuwt union chief John Rimmer questioned the proposals.

He said: “How can you say there is a need for a school when one is closing down?

“It will be to the detriment of Birchwood High and Lysander High and impact the delivery of education at those schools.

“It is a hairbrained idea and the local authority should do all it can not to allow this school.”

Poulton South councillors Colin Froggatt and Lottie Ladbury are also against the academy.

Clr Froggatt said: “We are not in favour of academy schools.

“It is understandable that parents could want a school in the area but this will be set up as a private school and run as a private organisation.”

Clr Ladbury, who campaigned to keep Woolston High open, said: “The difficulty is that we’d all like a school in Woolston but is a free school the answer?

“A free school could destabilise the family of schools in Warrington.”