MEMBERS of the public had their say at the first public consultation event into the new school for the Barton West development.

Oxfordshire County Council is consulting to find out what sort of school people who live in the area want and held an event at Bayards Hill Primary School yesterday.

Under the Education Act 2011, all new schools have to be academies or free schools. This means they could be run by a faith organisation, a community group or an existing local school. And the county council wants to know what people think.

Sherwood Place resident Ray Guillery, 84, said: “I think it is essential that a new school is built if they are going to have 800 homes.

“They have got to be very careful about integration with present-day Barton. If an organisation could take control of both schools that would be good.”

Barbara Chillman, the county council’s pupil place planning manager, said: “We already know there is going to be a school, where it is going and how big it is going to be.

“What we have to do now is find an academy sponsor to run it.

“One of the things we do get comments on is whether people might want a faith school or not. We have had no definite answer yet one way or another for this school.”

The new school will accommodate 420 children once it is full and is expected to open in 2018.

It is part of the development which will see nearly 900 homes built on land west of Barton.