PLANS for Colchester’s first Montessori primary school have taken another step forward after they were submitted to the Department for Education.

Teacher Daniel Kennedy wants to open the 420-place school on the former Severalls Hospital site in 2015.

Kennedy Montessori School Colchester will be the third of its kind in the country.

The main differences between Montessori and conventional schools is they do not teach children according to age groups and do not have traditional timetabled lessons.

Mr Kennedy said: “We are delighted to be making this application.

“We have been working with the community for the past nine months and have been overwhelmed with the level of local support.

“To date, several hundred families have come forward to support our proposals.

“We hope to have some positive news to share with them in the spring, when we expect to hear whether our application has been approved by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.”

Charity the New Schools Network awarded the Kennedy Academy Trust £5,000 to publicise the school plans and placed it on its development programme to support it through the application process.

Natalie Evans, director of New Schools Network, said: “We very much hope it will have the chance to put its plans into action when Government announces later in the spring which groups have been given the green light to open.”

There are two state-funded Montessori primary schools in the UK, in Manchester and in Stebbing, near Great Dunmow.

Last week, plans also went on show for another 420-place primary school in Braiswick, set to open in 2015 and sponsored by the Learning Pathways Trust.