The Government’s Department for Education (DfE) has today (12 April 2017) given the go ahead for two new Free Schools in South Leeds.
As we reported back in October 2016 that the Cockburn Multi Academy Trust plan to open a new secondary school, to be called the Laurence Calvert Academy. Cockburn’s plans have now been approved. No site for the 900 place school has been announced and South Leeds Life understands that now the project has been approved, the DfE will identify a site in Inner South Leeds.
The new school is to be named after a former Cockburn pupil who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.
The second new school will be a two-form entry primary school to be opened by the Gorse Academies Trust on land next to the Ruth Gorse Academy on Black Bull Street in Hunslet. The Gorse Academies Trust also run Morley Academy and Elliott Hudson sixth form college.
Steve Walker, director of children and families at the city council, told the Yorkshire Evening Post:
“The Government is committed to free schools and we will now work with the Regional Schools Commissioner and the free school proposers to deliver these new schools for Leeds children. Leeds City Council is committed to maintaining a strong family of schools across the city, which work collectively for the benefit of all children and young people in Leeds.”
The announcement means that the Cockburn Multi Academies Trust will now be involved in running three secondary schools in the area. Two weeks ago we reported that they are working towards taking over as sponsor of The South Leeds Academy from the Delta Academies Trust.
Local authorities such as Leeds City Council are no longer able to build new schools, although they retain the responsibility for ensuring there are enough school places for children in the area. The main way of creating new schools is through the Free School programme.