DCSIMG

Money woes linked to school merger

Headteacher Dayle Harrison shows the old single glazing in Collegiate High School

Headteacher Dayle Harrison shows the old single glazing in Collegiate High School

DEBT expected to rise to more than £1m at a crumbling Blackpool school is one of the reasons behind a possible schools merger, it has been revealed today.

DEBT expected to rise to more than £1m at a crumbling Blackpool school is one of the reasons behind a possible schools merger, it has been revealed today.

Senior staff at Collegiate High School have said the urgent need for better facilities factors into talks to merge it with Bispham High School.

The Gazette yesterday reported plans to merge the two schools making them an academy with a new multi-million pound home on the Collegiate site.

The state of Collegiate’s main building, opened on Blackpool Old Road in 1961, is contributing to rising costs, running into thousands of pounds, for Blackpool Council – plunging the school into debt.

The deficit is growing each day, standing at £843,000 at the end of the last financial year but estimated to rise to £1.15m by July 2013.

This, coupled with a fall in numbers at both schools, is said to be behind the plans for the school merger.

Sue Harrison, director of children’s services for Blackpool Council, said it would not be right to continue two schools with falling roll numbers.

And Bispham High School, on Bispham Road, attaining GCSE results below the floor target has been discussed as another reason for the governing bodies of both schools to take the academy proposal to public consultation.

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for education, said: “Results aren’t the only thing but a key thing Ofsted look at is outcomes for learners and that’s what we look at. We can’t hide from the fact there have been bad results. That’s not blaming people, we have to ask questions. We all are aware we’re held to account for results.

“On paper [Collegiate has] a big deficit and falling numbers, however they’ve had very good results.”

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FOR THE FULL STORY - INLCUDING THE REACTION FROM PARENTS OF PUPILS AT COLLEGIATE AND BISPHAM - SEE THURSDAY’S GAZETTE.

 

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