School joy for Radcliffe

10 Feb 2021 10:55
Published by: Scott Callan

 

RADCLIFFE is to get its new high school after the government finally approved plans first put forward in 2019.

The long-awaited news has been hailed by local council leaders as a key part of the town’s regeneration.

The aim is to build the new school on the site of the former Radcliffe Riverside School on Spring Lane, potentially alongside other community uses.

The new school will accommodate 750 pupils, opening one year at a time and it is anticipated that it will open in 2024 or possibly earlier in 2023.

Hamid Patel, chief executive of Star Academies, said he was delighted to be able to open a local school to serve the needs of Radcliffe’s young people.

He said: “A new school brings with it the opportunity to invest in our young people and to ensure that they are able to achieve their very best.

“As a member of the Star Academies family, the school will benefit from a national network of support, resources and opportunities that will provide pupils with the highest quality education possible.

“We are truly delighted by this opportunity and look forward to working with the people of Radcliffe to create the exceptional local school that their children so rightly deserve.”

Star Academies runs a group of 29 primary and secondary schools in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the Midlands and London.

The trust is one of the country’s leading education providers. In 2018 and 2019, it was the top-performing trust in England for the progress pupils make at its secondary schools.

Star Academies schools promote excellence in everything they do, with around half of all Star schools judged to be ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Bury Council had fully backed the plans by Star Academies to bring a high school back to the town.

Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is what we’ve all been waiting so long to hear, and it’s nothing less than local residents deserve.

“Demand for secondary school places across the borough is increasing, with limited capacity to meet current and forecast need.

“Coupled to this is forecast additional demand from residential growth in Radcliffe, which will put additional demands on pupil places in this part of the borough.

“Also, fewer young people in Radcliffe achieve five good GCSEs than the Bury average. The new school will play a crucial part in giving our borough enough pupil places at local schools and level up the education attainment of young people in Radcliffe.”

As part of the deal, the council will lease the site to Star Academies for a peppercorn rent.

Work has been undertaken to produce a masterplan for the site to look at developing it for wider opportunities such as community leisure as well as for the school.

 

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