Decision day arrives for new Rye school

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PLANNERS at Rother District Council looked set to support the application for a new school in Rye when they met yesterday (Thursday).

The plans, if approved, would see work start on the new Studio School which will open its doors in September.

It will be the first school of its kind in the South east and one of only a handful in the country.

The project has been described as “pioneering” by Rye College Head Ann Cockerham and will offer post 16 education in Rye for the first time in more than a decade.

Plans for the school have been amended to take in the concerns of nearby residents at Love Lane.

Rother planning chief Tim Hickling was recommending that the application be granted full permission but planners did day they thought the design could have been better, describing the choice of materials as “disappointing” .

They agreed with Rye Conservation Society and residents that materials could have been used to make a stronger architectural design expression and “reflect the local palette”

But Mr Hickling said: “Given the weight to supporting school proposals and the revisions made to the design, it is considered that the proposal to provide a new Studio School for Rye should be welcomed and supported.”

The new school will be on the Rye College site but be operated independently with its own management team operating under The Rye Academy Trust.

The school will cater for a maximum of 300 pupils and focus on creative industry skills.

It would offer education for 14 - 19 year olds with all students taking part in work placements off-site for one or two days a week.

As well as a two storey building, the plans include a further 24 car parking spaces and three motorcycle spaces as well as extra capacity for more cycles.

Mrs Cockerham believes the new school will attract high quality teaching staff and help establish Rye as a centre of learning.