Pupils say ‘no’ to school merger bid

Bispham High School pupils Joseph Dodd, Aimee Boden and Patryk Mularski have had their say in a survey about the proposed merger of their school with Collegiate High School

Bispham High School pupils Joseph Dodd, Aimee Boden and Patryk Mularski have had their say in a survey about the proposed merger of their school with Collegiate High School

2
Have your say

STUDENTS have added their voice to the debate on controversial plans to merge two Blackpool high schools.

Pupils at Bispham High School have been invited to take part in a survey to share their thoughts on whether their school should be merged with Collegiate High School, to create an academy.

The two schools are holding a public consultation on the plans until February 22, and knowing pupils would want to be a part of it teachers at the Bispham Road school set up a survey for them.

So far more than 230 of the schools’ 860 children have answered the online survey.

Aimee Boden, 13, from Layton, said: “It’s given us a chance to express our feelings.

“I’d like for the schools not to be merged.”

Teachers said the majority of pupils answering the survey so far are from Years Eight and Nine, the year groups which would be affected if the schools merge and move into a new £10m building on Collegiate’s site on Blackpool Old Road.

To date, 74.4 per cent of pupils have said they don’t agree with the merger and want both schools to remain separate, while 21.8 per cent said it would depend on where the merged school is based.

Joseph Dodd, 13, from Bispham, said: “I don’t want them to merge, but if it does then I want it to stay at Bispham because it’s part of the community.”

Regarding the location of the merged school, 90.6 per cent said they would like to see their school remain on the Bispham Road site.

John Topping, deputy headteacher, said: “It’s an important part of the consultation. We knew it was appropriate to capture their views.”

Pupils at Collegiate High School have also been invited to join the consultation.

Dayle Harrison, acting headteacher of Collegiate, said: “All Collegiate students have been informed through assemblies as to the proposal.

“Students then decided their form time would be the ideal time to raise their questions and comments, in smaller groups.

“173 questions were received from pupils which have been grouped in 28 broad themes and responses compiled.”

The public consultation continues until February 22.

Families, businesses and members of the community are invited to join the consultation in writing or via the schools’ websites.

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.