Youngsters struggling to cope in mainstream education could be helped by a new free school in Trowbridge if a bid to open one goes ahead.

The Department for Education is considering an application from Collaborative Schools Ltd, a partnership of the 21 Trowbridge primary and secondary schools. It has submitted plans for a 60 place school which, if approved, will open in September 2015. A site has yet to be identified.

The government-funded school would have academy status and take children aged four to 16, referred from schools across the county.

Key stage one to three children would attend two days a week, while key stage four pupils would be full time.

“The school will provide a slightly different provision to ensure that children who haven’t fully adapted to mainstream education can be successful,” said Jayne Bullock, CSL co-ordinator.“We are delighted to be making this application. We have been working with key stakeholders over a number of months and are extremely encouraged by the level of local support.”

John of Gaunt head Andy Packer said it would be a huge benefit to children. “As a school we are always trying to do our very best for the individual child, but sometimes you recognise a pupil may need more than your school can provide.

“The academy, free of local authority control, will enable headteachers to have a steer on the curriculum and have the flexibility to provide the very best for children who struggle.”

The CSL will work with schools, parents, Wiltshire College, Active Trowbridge and the Educational Welfare Service to decide which children would be referred.