Gove names next round of free schools
Urban Splash, Manchester City FC and Big Life Group, publisher of Big Issue in the North, were among successful applicants for the next wave of the government's free schools on Friday.
Education Secretary Michel Gove approved 102 free schools to open in England from 2013 onwards.
In New Islington, east Manchester, partners Urban Splash, Manchester Grammar School and Manchester City Council will open a new primary school, mixed and comprehensive, as part of its ongoing development of the area.
The Big Life Group will open Longsight Community Primary, also in Manchester. The group already runs children's centres and community projects across Greater Manchester to help disadvantaged people. It says the primary school will have a 'strong behaviour policy' and sits 'in an area of Manchester which has high levels of deprivation, and an expected shortage of primary places.'
Collective Spirit in Oldham will be for 11 to 16-year-olds and have a 'faith sensitive' ethos but will not allocate pupil places on the basis of faith. Year groups will be small, and a mixture of lecture-style teaching and small group work will be used to deliver the academic curriculum.
The group behind the proposals is made up of community leaders and education professionals who propose to work with a number of faith groups.
The Connell Sixth Form College will be a co-educational 16 to 19 sixth form college for 600 pupils in east Manchester, and is proposed by Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. Manchester City FC is a key partner in bringing forward these proposals. The club is supportive of proposals for the new Sixth Form College, not only to meet the needs of the local area but also to provide educational opportunities for its 30 football scholars from the club's new football academy. The club has set aside facilities to support the new sixth form college, including access to one of the 17 new football pitches being established adjacent to the college site.
Twenty-four free schools opened in 2011 and a further 65 were approved in the previous application round. Around 50 groups are aiming to open in September 2012 – and others will follow in 2013 or 2014. The majority of the 102 schools approved on Friday will aim to open in September 2013.