Academy set for Birkenshaw?

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PLANS for a Birkenshaw High School have moved a step closer with the start of a consultation to create a new academy school.

The Birkenshaw, Birstall and Gomersal (BBG) Academy Trust has announced it is on course to open in September 2013 at the current middle school site.

The school would provide for pupils aged between 11 and 16 and would not be under local authority control.

Parents have spent more than five years campaigning for a school in the village, which was originally planned to be a government-backed Free School.

The BBG Academy Trust said the free school route is ‘still an option’ but the academy conversion is their focus.

Spokeswoman Lesley Surman said: “The vision of a high performing local school to serve the area after years of uncertainty, we believe, will be welcomed and will bring together the existing successful Middle School with the BBG Free School to create a new academy.

“The Secretary of State for Education has already approved the academy order for the project and subject to the completion of the process will give final approval later this year.”

Initially, the school will comprise three year groups of up to 150 pupils, before eventually opening its doors to 750 children when the transition arrangements are made.

The consultation documents will be circulated to staff, parents and stakeholders on Friday, with the results published on May 1.