Wakefield MP to challenge ministers over future of ‘outstanding’ arts school

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh
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A West Yorkshire MP will tomorrow urge ministers to save an “outstanding” performing arts school from the threat of closure amid warnings it could “damage the life chances” of dozens of young people.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh will call on the government to offer assurances to “students, teachers, alumni, and parents” at CAPA sixth form college, after the school’s future was thrown into doubt when plans to relocate to Leeds fell through.

The college, which has received three consecutive “outstanding” ratings, was due to move to the city in 2018 as part of its bid to convert to a free school.

But issues finding a permanent site have created uncertainty around funding and led the college to close applications for the 2017 year.

Speaking ahead of a debate in Parliament where she hopes to raise the issue, Ms Creagh said “dozens of dedicated staff and students” have been left “unsure” about their future by the “fiasco”.

“The closure of CAPA College would damage the life chances of young people in Wakefield who aspire to go into the arts,” she said. “I am calling on Ministers to save CAPA College, to keep it in Wakefield, and to reassure all the students, teachers, alumni, and parents who are concerned about the future of this outstanding college.”

CAPA college, which was founded in 2006, has seen its students going on to attend some of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the country. The college’s sponsor, Enhance Academy Trust, gained approval to open as a free school in 2015.

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