PRIME Minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged his support for a new free school in Radcliffe.

Bury South MP, Christian Wakeford, has been behind the campaign for the school and on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions took the opportunity to ask Mr Johnson to back the campaign.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Christian thanked the Prime Minister in reaffirming his commitment to levelling up the nation and plans for local education.

He said: “The town of Radcliffe in my constituency has been without a high school since 2014.

“A new school would not only improve educational attainment for the town’s children but trigger the town’s regeneration.

“As the bidding process for free schools remains in the final stages, will my right hon. Friend the PM, help by supporting my campaign, alongside the people of Radcliffe, for the new school that the town desperately needs?”

Thanking Christian for his work on the campaign for the new school, the Prime Minister said: “I thank my Hon. friend who is fantastic campaigner for his constituents, and I can tell him that we are indeed looking at expanding the free school programme. Wave 14 of free schools will be announced very shortly and I hope that he will not have too long to wait.”

Radcliffe, with around 30,000 residents, has been without its own high school since 2014, resulting in children being forced to travel miles to get their education.

Earlier this year, Mr Wakeford delivered his petition to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson after securing over 3,000 signatures supporting the need for a new high school.

The bidding process for Wave 14 of the Government’s free school programme is in its finally stages and a decision on the outcome of Star Academies’ bid is expected shortly.

Mr Wakeford also addressed the Prime Minister in the subsequent debate over Mr Johnson's statement to MPs about schools reopening and the plan to publish a roadmap for the route out of lockdown.

Mr Wakeford took the opportunity to thank a number of volunteer organisations who have helped during the pandemic.

He said: "I join with members from across the House with sending my deepest condolences to each and every one of the individuals who has tragically passed away as a result of covid.

"However, during this extremely difficult time I have nothing but admiration for the army of volunteers working tirelessly in my constituency and across the country.

"Will the Prime Minister join me in thanking organisations like The Fed, Jewish Volunteering Network, Heads Up, and Porch Boxes, along with all those who have done so much to protect the vulnerable and the needy in Prestwich, Radcliffe, and Whitefield?"

Mr Johnson agreed they deserve praise.