A new free school has been given the go-ahead to begin recruiting staff and enrolling pupils.

The Bellevue Place Education Trust plans to open Watling Park School in Burnt Oak next September.

The Department for Education announced today that the school would enter the ‘pre-opening phase’, which means it can start getting ready to open, which includes recruiting staff and opening for applications.

The next stage is the final funding stage.

A site is still to be found for the school.

Starting with 60 pupils in reception, the trust hopes to eventually provide 420 primary school places by 2021.

The school was initially to be called Barnet Free Primary School, but the group changed its name when its location became clearer.

Claire Delaney, chairman of Bellevue Place Education Trust, said: “We are delighted that Watling Park School has been approved into the pre-opening phase and that we are now able to progress our plans with the Department for Education and the education funding to make our vision a reality.”