The teaching of children at a Preston secondary school on opposite sides of the city is set to be made permanent.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council has published its intention to keep Ashton Community Science College running at the original Ashton site and the Ribbleton site.
Teaching on the two sites has been split since January 2010 when the county council closed the City of Preston High School.
A consultation by the county council found almost all parents, staff and students in favour of making the dual-site operation a permanent fixture.
The Ashton campus continues to operate as the main teaching building and the Ribbleton site will be for pupils aged 14-19 who are studying vocational courses and training.
The consultation had 99 responses of which 90 strong agreed with the plan to split the teaching over the two sites. Only three responses disagreed and two strongly agreed.
The council documents state while it wants to try and teach children on one site wherever possible it can’t in this case.
Officers write: “It is generally desirable to have provision that is single sited for curriculum delivery, management and financial reasons. However, this is not always possible and, in this particular case, the vocational offer at the Renaissance Centre means that the vast majority of students only attend one of the school’s sites and the two sites can effectively be separately managed. In addition, the co-location of Sir Tom Finney Community High School with the Renaissance Centre brings significant benefits for the pupils which a single site could not offer, due to site area constraints.”
The Ribbleton Hall Drive campus is also in line to get a major refurbishment as part of the plans.
The county council has published its intention to spend around £1.4 million on upgrading the site to provide specialist teaching facilities.
It also intends to teach some lessons and subjects at the upgraded site to pupils at Sir Tom Finney High School in Deepdale who will be able to use the facilities.
Ribbleton councillor Jonathan Saksena said he supported the proposals: “The co-location of Sir Tom Finney High to Ribbleton has been on the cards for some time. I can only welcome the decision as it keeps the building going – its future has lain in the balance for a number of years.
“I just hope that the refurbishment will do something about the playing field drainage as this is a source of many flooding problems in the adjoining residential properties.”
The decision to make the arrangement permanent could be called in by county councillors but they have until Wednesday 16 January to do so.
If not the decision to push ahead with a statutory notice will be granted on Thursday 17 January and the county council hopes to make the co-location plan permanent for the new school year in September 2013.
The funding for upgrading the Ribbleton campus will go to Councillor Sue Charles, the cabinet member for children and schools, on Monday 11 February.
View the council reports on making the Ashton split-site teaching permanent on the council we bsite.
View the decision notice about the upgrade of the Ribbleton campus on the council website.
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