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19 - Coseley free school one step closer

 

Plans to develop the former Coseley Secondary School site are gaining pace, with proposals for a new primary school in the first phase of development going to Dudley Council’s cabinet this month.

 

The site of the former secondary school, which closed its doors in July 2017, is proposed as the site for the new Coseley Technology Primary, a free school.

 

The new free school will be part of the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust (Shireland CAT), which already runs the Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick, Holyhead Primary Academy in Wednesbury and Thorns Collegiate Academy in Dudley. Both Holyhead Primary and Thorns Collegiate Academy became part of the Trust and converted into academies in September 2017.

 

Under proposals agreed by the DfE, the free school will open to 60 reception pupils in September 2018, using the existing school buildings which will be leased to the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust for two years while building work begins on the site for the new school. Nursery provision will begin once the new buildings have been completed. Access to Coseley leisure centre will be unaffected by the works.

 

Once the new school building has been built, the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust will enter into a 125 year lease for the land on which their new school is based.

 

The council is continuing discussions with a range of partners about the next phase of development of the site which would provide new secondary school places as the number of secondary age students in the borough starts to increase again in the coming years.

 

Councillor Anne Millward, cabinet member for children’s services said:

“This is an exciting new venture for Coseley, which will make the most of the existing school site, while providing a much needed primary school for the area.

 

“We have already established a strong, productive working relationship with the Shireland’s team when they took over the running of Thorns Community College in 2017 and we look forward to working with them on this ambitious new project.”

 

Sir Mark Grundy, executive principal, Shireland Collegiate Academy said:

“It is a great opportunity to be asked to open a Primary Free School in the Coseley area. Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust has a national reputation for innovation, collaboration and for inspiring the individuals within our care. We want every single person that comes through the doors of Coseley Technology Primary to leave having grown as an individual and be equipped with the skills that prepare them both personally and professionally for a successful and happy life.

 

“We have recently opened our Section 10 Consultation, which provides families and the local community with the opportunity to provide their feedback in order for us to provide the best education provision possible for Coseley, we hope to hear from everyone.”

 

The new Coseley Technology Primary is expected to serve families from Dudley, Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

 

Applications for academic year 2018/19 need to be made directly to the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust and application forms can be found on coseleytechnologyprimary.org.uk. Parents will need to apply separately for a place at Coseley Technology Primary because free schools are not part of the co-ordinated admissions process in their first year.  This means parents are able to apply for up to five other schools using the admissions process run by Dudley Council.

 

An application to Coseley Technology Primary will be an additional application and will not jeopardise any other application made to Dudley Council. Pupils receiving two offers (one from Coseley Technology Primary and one from Dudley Council) will have three weeks to decide which offer to accept.

 

The Coseley School, opened in 1968 and served generations of school pupils.

Declining student numbers over a period of years, together with insufficiently good academic results, meant that keeping the school open was no longer viable and, with just 81 pupils left on roll, the council took the decision to close the school at the end of the 2016/17 academic year.

 

 

Notes to editors:

 

Free schools, a type of academy, are non-profit-making, independent, state-funded schools which are free to attend but which are not controlled by a local authority.

They have more freedoms and flexibilities, however, they are not able to use academic selection processes, such as those of a grammar school. They are subject to the same School Admissions Code as all other state-funded schools.

Further information:

http://coseleytechnologyprimary.org.uk/

 

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