Petition bid over new school site

Coun Chris Ryan and Coun Christine Wright hand the petition'to Sue Harrison (centre), Director of Children's Services at Blackpool Council.
Coun Chris Ryan and Coun Christine Wright hand the petition'to Sue Harrison (centre), Director of Children's Services at Blackpool Council.
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HUNDREDS of people have put their name to a petition calling for a controversial academy to be located within Bispham High School’s grounds.

Councillors for Bispham’s Greenlands ward, Coun Christine Wright and Coun Chris Ryan, met with senior officers from Blackpool Council to hand in a petition as part of a public consultation on the future of two resort schools.

Under proposals Bispham High could merge with Collegiate, creating an academy.

More than 1,500 parents, businesses and residents signed the petition supporting a bid for a merged school to be located on the Bispham Road school site, saying it is of great value to the community and its facilities should remain.

But the Department for Education has only put forward funding to provide a new £10m school if it is located on the Collegiate site, on Blackpool Old Road.

Coun Wright and Coun Ryan handed in the petition for Blackpool Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Sue Harrison, to pass on to the Department for Education (DfE).

Coun Wright said: “We’ve had 1,546 signatures, I’m really, really pleased with that.

“We support the campaign to ask the DfE to revisit the proposal to build a new school on the Collegiate site, and choose Bispham High School, Greenlands, as the preferred site.”

Supporters of the petition said they preferred the Bispham school site, with its performing arts facilities and links with the community, nearby churches and the Royal Ballet School.

Coun Wright added: “People’s comments have been very positive, saying performing arts is essential. Not everybody is academic so when you go to somewhere like a performing arts school that side of things can help somebody far better that hasn’t got the results otherwise.”

A public consultation on the proposals closes tomorrow.

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