A NEW £4 million school on Bournemouth’s Towns-end Estate will run as an Academy and sponsors are being sought.

The first pupils are due at their desks a year from now, five years after the controversial closure of Townsend School on the same site.

September 2013 will see the new academy offer 60 reception year places although work to partly demolish, re-build and extend the school will not be complete until the start of the following school year.

The new school is one of a number of measures to accommodate a huge rise in the birth rate in Bournemouth which has seen permanent and temporary additional classes at many other primaries across the borough.

The school will eventually accommodate 420 children between the ages of four and 11 and potential sponsors are being sought to deliver a high standard of community focussed education.

Selectors want to ensure sponsors will engage with the local community, provide outstanding teaching and learning, support pupils with a range of needs and create an engaging learning environment.

Academy sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds including existing academies or grammar schools, further education institutions, faith communities or universities.

Cllr Nicola Greene, cabinet member for education at Bournemouth council, said: “Having considered all the options, opening a new primary school has been identified as the most cost-effective solution to meet the shortfall of reception places in the area.”

Townsend School closed in 2008 amid a storm of protest. Parents complained that children in the area had to travel further and to several different schools.

Prospective sponsors can get more information at bournemouth. gov.uk/schoolplaceplanning and parents who would like to apply for a reception place at the new academy should go to bournemouth.govuk /school places