A NEW primary school has announced its founding headteacher ahead of opening in September.

Claire Doland, who is currently interim headteacher at St Mary’s CE Infant School in Witney, will take over at Windrush CE Primary School, in the west of the town.

Mrs Doland, 50, was previously deputy headteacher at The Blake CE Primary School in Cogges.

The school, under construction at the new Windrush Place estate, will be the first new primary in Witney since 2003.

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Mrs Doland spoke exclusively to the Witney Gazette this week.

She said: “My vision is for a school that sits at the heart of a great new community and plays a major role in bringing that new community together.

“The school is geographically at the centre of the new development and it is going to be a building that people walk, drive or cycle past every day – but we want it to be more than that.

“If we can be a school that people of all ages are proud of, then that is going to help with the process of Windrush Place becoming a great community.”

Oxford Mail: Windrush CE Primary School in construction in Witney. Picture provided by River Learning TrustWindrush CE Primary School in construction in Witney. Picture provided by River Learning Trust

Mrs Doland, who was also the founding headteacher at the Ofsted outstanding-rated Thomson House School in London, added: “We will be delivering an education based on broad Christian values, but it will be a modern and progressive education in the most fantastic setting and with the most amazing facilities.

“We will be welcoming and nurturing people of all faiths and of no faith.

“Hopefully, the world will be different come September and the children who join us will be able to benefit fully from the first-class education that we plan to provide.”

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When full, Windrush will have capacity for 315 pupils, plus 39 nursery places.

It will be operated by River Learning Trust (RLT), in partnership with the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE).

RLT currently operates Madley Brook, Witney Community and Tower Hill primary schools in Witney.

Parents have until Friday to submit their school preferences to Oxfordshire County Council

Those wishing to send their child to Windrush need to apply directly to the school on its website, and fill out the council application form.

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