A free secondary school could be built in Swindon by September 2016 or 2017.

A free school is one set up by groups of parents and teachers, or by charities or trusts and religious or voluntary groups.

The diocese of Bristol Academies’ Trust’s application to build the school somewhere in the town is likely to be tabled in September.

Talks are still at a preliminary stage between the trust, Swindon Council and an unnamed school.

Trust CEO John Swainston said initial plans to get the application in by May have now been put back until September.

“We have no representation at secondary school level, so it’s a good opportunity for us to get involved,” he said.

“It’s important to have a diversity of provision and make sure all the schools do not have the same provider.”

Advertisements will go out next week for teaching positions at the trust’s prospective primary school in Tadpole Farm.

The headteacher Jane Leo said she and officials would be looking for two reception teachers, one nursery teacher and a number of teaching assistants depending on final pupil numbers in September.

“We are advertising next week. It’s quite an exciting opportunity and we would expect quite a few applicants,” she said.

On April 15 parents nationally will discover which school will take their reception year children.

The trust said Swindon Council had not revealed how many applicants there have been for places at the North Swindon school, but it did say there had been a strong mix of first and second choices made by parents.