Double celebrations as two city schools get set for merger

A LEEDS school being built to replace two others has got a new name – and a new head.

Work has already started on the new 25m building, which will open in September next year when West Leeds High in Armley and Wortley High close.

The new school, being built near West Leeds High buildings, will be known as Swallow Hill Community College. The name has been chosen in recognition of the area surrounding the site, which was historically known as Swallow Hill.

The new head will be Bernard Knowles, currently in charge of a secondary school in Wrexham.

The new head already has experience of merging high schools. In 2005, he helped oversee a reorganisation programme which included the amalgamation of three schools into two secondaries and the building of his own school, Rhosnesni High.

He said: "Learning should be at the heart of any community and I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with students, staff, parents and the community to provide exciting learning experiences which allow all individuals to achieve," said Mr Knowles.

The new school in west Leeds is being built as part of a 250m government programme called Building Schools for the Future (BSF).

In total, five new schools are being built and another eight refurbished across Leeds in one of the biggest construction schemes of its kind in the country.

Anne Wilson, chair of the temporary board of governors for Swallow Hill Community College, said Wortley and West Leeds high schools were working closely with the community and Education Leeds to support the merger.

"Staff, students and parents felt it was important to reflect the local area and the school's community links in the new name."

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said the BSF scheme was providing Leeds with some of the best learning resources n the country.

"These facilities are built around the needs and aspirations of our talented school-based colleagues, our wonderful young people, and their communities," he said.