Plan for three new schools in Leeds to tackle pupil places crisis

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Plans have been unveiled to open three new schools in Leeds to help meet the growing demand for places in the city.

The proposals for a primary school and two secondaries would create a total of 2,720 spaces for pupils.

The Abbey multi-academy trust, which is a Church of England schools chain, is hoping to submit an application to the Government in the next two months if it can gather enough support.

A high-performing church academy chain is hoping to receive backing from the community so it can push ahead with ambitious plans to open three new schools in Leeds.

It is hoped the move will help to tackle the shortage of school places as the birth rate continues to rise and more families choose to move into the city.

The Abbey multi-academy trust, which has two schools in Leeds and one in Halifax, is hoping to submit an application to the Department for Education in May or June.

However, the plan to open the schools in September 2020 will only become a reality with the support of the community.

Carol Kitson, director at Abbey multi-academy trust, said: “There is a clear need for Church of England primary and secondary schools in these areas within Leeds.”

Abbey Primary Academy will be based in the Adel and Cookridge area and will cater for pupils aged four to 11. It will eventually reach full capacity of 420 pupils, including a nursery. Priory Grange Academy, in East Leeds, will offer places for up to 1,150 students, aged 11-19. The Mitre Academy, to be located in inner East Leeds, will eventually open its doors to 1,150 students.

Websites have been set up for the schools where parents can register their support.

Meanwhile, the Government has announced that schools across Yorkshire are to receive a £159m cash injection for extra places and building repairs. The announcement by Education Secretary Justine Greening will help to create almost 20,000 more places in the region by 2020. The funding includes £55m for Yorkshire’s academies to invest in upgrading their buildings and gives the go-ahead to 141 vital projects.

Four schemes have been given the go-ahead in Leeds, including a roofing and heating project at Horsforth School, roof refurbishment works at Crashaw Academy, Pudsey, and roof replacements at Leeds City Academy, in Woodhouse.

Andrew Whitaker, chief executive of White Rose Academies Trust, which sponsors the city academy, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded the grant. Our bid also includes a contribution from the academy’s own reserves, enabling us to further rejuvenate the facilities. The academy exists at the heart of city life and this allows us to improve our school for the benefit of the community.”

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