‘Track record’ vow over new Academy

Bispham High School.
Bispham High School.
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THE sponsor of a new academy in Blackpool should have a proven track record of school improvement, leaders have said.

A party of teachers and governors from Bispham and Collegiate High Schools have met to discuss what they would like to see from a sponsor should the schools merge, becoming an academy.

Collegiate High School

Collegiate High School

Under proposals, if the high schools, on Bispham Road and Blackpool Old Road, merge they could potentially have new £10 million facilities on the Collegiate site - a decision on which site the academy goes on is yet to be made.

Now the party is discussing what they would like to see from a sponsor of the academy and are making their criteria clear before submitting them to the Department for Education (DfE).

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Choosing the right sponsor for the school is a crucial decision.”

“A working party made up from representatives from both schools establishes the criteria for the sponsor which is then passed to the Department of Education to select suitable sponsors for consideration.

“We would want to see a sponsor that will work with the local community, take on board the views of parents and have a proven track record of school improvement. The governors are the right people to make the decisions as they know the children, parents and communities.

“It’s a challenging process but we are confident they’ll select the best sponsor for the school and for Blackpool.”

An academy is a school free from Local Authority control, allowing governors and teachers control over the curriculum and how funding, still from the DfE, is spent.

Should the schools merge a new governing body would be set up, made up of equal numbers of governors from each former high school.

Coun Christine Wright has called for this new governing body not to have to make the decision on which school site the academy is on.

She said: “It would be unfair for the new governing body to decide on the new school site, in the sense it would be quite divisive.”

Coun Wright’s calls come as Save Bispham School campaigners put their petition online.

Organisers of the petition are hoping Facebook will help them to reach even more parents.

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