Joy as future of Leeds school secured

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Parents and campaigners have spoken of their delight at hearing that an under-threat secondary school on the outskirts of Leeds has been granted a reprieve.

Plans were revealed by Leeds City Council in February to demolish Boston Spa High School, sell off the land for development and merge it with nearby Wetherby High.

Pupils numbers are too low at both schools, it warned, with only one secondary needed for the area, but the plans had sparked outrage with parents launching a campaign.

Now, as Schools’ Minister Lord Agnew grants a sought-after academy order to join The GORSE Academies Trust, parents, headteachers, and governors have spoken of their delight.

“The minister has made an incredibly important decision for our community,” said principal Christopher Walsh, parent Debbie Young adding: “We are very happy. This is an incredibly important decision for the locality, and we applauded the minster’s decision.”

Stephen Hall, chair of governors, said: “The granting of the academy order is excellent news. The next few Governors’ meetings will now be able to make some exciting decisions.”

Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke, who had openly criticised the plans, said it was incredible news, adding that he was proud of the communities’ battle: “Boston Spa Academy can now move forward with its plans to improve standards and move from a ‘good’ school to an ‘outstanding’ academy,” he said.

And ward councillors Alan Lamb, Gerald Wilkinson and Norma Harrington, in a joint statement, said this meant the two schools both now have certainty and can move forward.

“We believe that we are now in the position that we always wanted, to see the future of both schools in the hands of their respective governing bodies and we would also like to place on record our thanks to the local community who played such an important part in this process.”