A new school is set to open in Surbiton after the Kingston Council (RBK) approved the sale of an adult learning centre.

RBK said on Monday (October 7) that it had given the green light to sell the King Charles Centre on Hollyfield Road to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Education and Skills Funding Agency for a new primary free school in the borough.

This is expected to pave the way for the site to be taken over by GEMS Learning Trust, a non-profit charity that run primary 'academies' in in London and South England.

"Subject to planning permission, the GEMS Surbiton Primary Academy will be a two form entry and provide much needed primary school places in the local area.

"The new school will open in September 2022 and mean local children don’t need to travel outside their local area to other schools across the borough," a spokesperson for RBK said.

Kingston Council, who run services from the King Charles Centre, added that those currently learning on site "will be relocated and continue to provide classes for learners":

RBK said that the Kingston Adult Education Service run out of the Centre would move to be run in future from Guildhall in the town centre.

Councillor Diane White, the Portfolio Holder for Children's Services including Education, described the move as "fantastic".

"This is fantastic news for Kingston. The new school will provide much-needed school places for local children and young people in the borough.

"We are committed to doing everything in our power as a council to give each child in Kingston the chance of the best possible education and we are confident this new school will play a role in doing just that," she said.

The CEO of GEMS Learning Trust Jodie Croft meanwhile said the organization were committed to "creating exceptional schools":

"I am so delighted that Kingston Council has approved the sale of the King Charles Centre and that the site will now become a much needed school for local children and families

"We are committed...to creating exceptional schools, where children are provided with the opportunities to flourish and excel on a daily basis," she said.

According to RBK, Kingston will need an extra form of entry in Surbiton or Berrylands for reception class entry in September 2019 and September 2020, rising to two form entry from September 2021 onwards.

The GEMS Trust have two schools in the region — in Twickenham and Didcot — and both were rated as "Outstanding" by government education standards body Ofsted in their most recent inspections.