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County Council want new school building in Workington

As a consultation begins on plans to close two schools in Workington the county council are hoping they can secure the funds to build a new home for the new academy.

They are working with the Education Funding Agency on their plans to develop a brand new school building in Workington under the government’s Priority School Building Programme.

Initial assumptions are that a new building would open in late 2017.

“We want all schools to benefit from the freedoms that academy status can bring and are committed to finding the right academy solution. Both Stainburn and Southfield schools applied to convert to Academy status but, in the light of the recent Ofsted inadequate judgements, we believe the best way forward is for Cumbria County Council to seek closure of both schools and run a competitive process to set up a single academy under the leadership of a strong sponsor.”

– Department for Education spokesperson

New Workington Academy could open in a year

If the council shuts both Stainburn and Southfield schools the new academy to replace them could open in a years time.

“While we understand the impact our decisions today will have, we strongly believe they mark the start of a process which will transform secondary education in Workington for the better.

“The proposal to close both schools and open a new academy with new leadership, a new ethos, and eventually a new building, would give young people in Workington what they deserve - the best possible chance to succeed at school and in life. "

– Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cumbria County Council

A consultation begins on Monday into the plans to close both schools and set up an academy.

Competitive process would be launched for new academy

Both of the Workington which will probably close had applied to convert as academies and join the Bright Tribe multi academy trust but the decision to commence the closure process and create one sponsored academy means that a competitive process is now required.

The council will on Monday (20 January) start the competitive process to identify a suitable sponsor for the new academy.

For the schools to close the council must follow a statutory consultation process. This involves an initial consultation period of 6 weeks

Following this the council’s Cabinet will consider the response to consultation and make a decision on whether to agree publication of statutory proposals for the closure of both schools. If that is agreed Cabinet will then make a final decision about closure following a statutory notice period.

Council announces plans for new Workington academy

Cumbria County Council has announced its intentions today to close both Stainburn and Southfield secondary schools in Workington and replace them with a new academy.

Both schools were judged as inadequate in recent Ofstead inspections and are now in special measures.

A consultation will begin on Monday 20th asking for the views of parents, staff, governors and pupils and other interested parties on a proposal to close both schools and replace them with a single new Academy, ideally operating on one site, but it is possible that initially both will be used.

All pupils currently at each school would be automatically enrolled in the new Academy, as would those who have applied for Year 7 places for September 2014 at either school.


Workington's secondary schools set to close

Workington's two secondary schools, Southfield and Stainburn are to close after failing their Ofsted inspections.

Both have been placed into special measures today and it's been announced that they will be replaced by a single academy at the start of next year, subject to a consultation.

They were criticised for failing to allow pupils to progress sufficiently and reach their full potential.

Initially the Academy will continue to operate from the two existing sites but a new single site building could be created by 2017.

The county council will begin the search for a sponsor for the new academy.