BIRKENHEAD’S new academy school moved a step closer to reality on Thursday, after cabinet agreed to develop Park High School’s current site.
The mixed academy should open in existing buildings in time for the start of the school year, in September 2011, before consolidating into one location.
It is expected that consultation with staff, governors, parents and the community will begin on January 27, continuing for a period of six weeks.
Cabinet ratified the ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) for the facility to open on the Park High site last Thursday evening.
The academy will replace the existing Park High and Rock Ferry High schools, and as part of the EOI process, the governing bodies of the two schools will formally meet and record their response to proposals.
Once this is done, the process will move to the feasibility stage, which sets out more detailed planning for the new academy.
Items on the agenda include agreeing the curriculum structure, looking at leadership and management arrangements as well as staffing requirements, planning ICT, deciding on key policies and kick starting the planning processes for any new buildings.
Once these issues have been agreed, the proposal will go to the Minister for Schools and Learners, who will sign off the funding agreement.
This should be achieved by September this year, according to Wirral Council.
The mixed academy will be sponsored by the Universities of Chester and Liverpool, Wirral Met, Birkenhead Sixth Form College and Wirral Council.
Consultation on the closure of both Park High and Rock Ferry high will run into February and March, with the outcome expected to be reported to cabinet on April 15.
A period of statutory consultation on the closures will then begin, and run for six weeks.