A CONTROVERSIAL free school due to open in Kidderminster will create about 200 new pupil places, its headteacher has said.
The currently independent Holy Trinity International School, in Birmingham Road, was granted free school status last May and, following formal confirmation in the spring, will open its doors under the new structure in September.
Bosses have completed a consultation on the change and say responses were "overwhelmingly positive", despite previous concerns from councillors and residents there was no demand for extra secondary places or a free school in the area.
The school, which ranges from nursery pupils to sixth formers, will also have to adopt Worcestershire County Council's admissions policy meaning it cannot be academically selective.
Headteacher Pamela Leek-Wright said the new school would have places for up to 454 students from this September.
She said: "We anticipate 200 of these places will be new and available to children who are not in the current school. Currently single form entry, the school will be moving over the next five years to double form entry, up to a maximum of 688 pupils, which will deliver an additional 400 new school places by 2018.
"The free school will be non-selective and non-denominational. This will be a new school but one that maintains its traditional emphasis on high standards of academic attainment and behaviour."
She said there would be extra classes in reception, year one, year two and year seven from September when there would also be a substantial number of places in some other year groups.
The school's bid for free school status was approved at the second time of asking, having previously failed in an attempt to make the change last September. Free schools were introduced by the Coalition Government to allow teachers, charities or parents to address academic demand within an area.