Go-ahead for new free school

CAMPAIGNERS for a free school are euphoric after being given the go-ahead by education secretary Michael Gove.

The new BBG Academy will open its doors to 750 pupils from September 2013, serving the communities of Birstall, Birkenshaw and Gomersal, as well as East Bierley.

It comes after a four year campaign by parents which has seen them meeting Mr Gove and Prime Minister David Cameron, both in Birkenshaw and at Downing Street.

Spokeswoman for the BBG Community Trust Lesley Surman said: “We are absolutely euphoric, but now the hard work really begins. Michael Gove said he is confident we will become a flagship school and we will be working flat out to make sure we deliver all we have promised.”

Wednesday’s announcement endorses the business case for the school and is the green light for it to be set up by the BBG Academy Trust which is hoping to secure the site at Birkenshaw Middle School.

The business case is the blueprint for the school which demonstrates demand, viability and how the school will be run. The extensive detail of all elements of the school has been compiled over the last five months by the Trust working with Department for Education officials and Partnership For Schools.

The group says it now wants to ensure a smooth transition for pupils attending the new academy working with schools and parents, and work with the council to minimise disruption to pupils’ education.

It said the academy would have a strong drive of high achievement for all pupils alongside extensive supportive pastoral care.

As one of the first parent led schools in the country, the school will seek to appoint high performing teachers and educational professionals to run it including a head teacher to lead the school through its formation.

“We are delighted that after four years of hard campaigning our efforts and the needs of our community have been recognised by the government,” said Lesley.

“We are determined to ensure BBG Academy provides high quality education for all children in our area within their local community. Having been given the go ahead we now intend to turn our plans into the reality of a new school.

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