PARENTS and pupils can have their say on proposals to build three new academy schools in County Durham at a series of meetings in the next few weeks.
Durham County Council is proposing to create academies in the Stanley, Consett and Durham City areas and is seeking people’s views as part of a major consultation programme. The consultation will run until Friday, March 20.
If created, the academies in the Durham City and Consett areas would be sponsored by the Durham University led consortium DEEP (Durham Excellence in Education Partnership). The proposed academy in Stanley would be sponsored by New College Durham.
Sites for each proposed academy have yet to be identified and the proposed opening date for the new schools would be September 2012.
An academy for the Durham City area would have 1,200 places for pupils aged 11-16 and would replace Belmont School Community Arts College and Durham Gilesgate Sports College, although sixth form provision in Durham City would remain.
The proposed academy for the Stanley area would have 1,800 places for pupils aged 11-16 and would replace Stanley School of Technology, Greencroft Business and Enterprise Community School and Tanfield School Specialist College.
In Consett the proposed academy would have 1,500 places for pupils aged 11-16 and would replace Moorside Community Technology College and Consett Community Sports College.
Each academy may also have additional facilities for pupils aged 16-19 though the exact number of any post-16 places is not yet decided.
Coun Claire Vasey, cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services at Durham County Council, said: “The development of academies in County Durham provides us with the opportunity to have brand new school facilities for 21st century teaching and learning, supported by sponsors with outstanding track records in the world of education.
“As we move forward with our proposals for academies it is vital that we have the views of people in the communities concerned, so I would encourage all those with an interest to take part in the consultation process.”
The following meetings will take place for parents and carers only in the Stanley area: Burnhope Primary School; Lanchester Endowed Parochial Primary School; Tanfield School Specialist College of Science and Engineering; Tanfield Lea Community Primary School (Lower School Hall); Greencroft Business and Enterprise Community School; and Burnopfield Primary School.
An information sharing event for the wider community will be held at the Lamplight Arts Centre, Stanley, on Monday, February 23 at 7pm. The following meetings will be held for parents and carers only in the Consett area: Moorside Community Technology College; Ebchester CoE Primary School; and Consett Community Sports College.
An information sharing event for the wider community will take place at the Civic Hall, Medomsley Road, Consett, on Monday, March 2 at 7pm.
The following meetings will be held for parents and carers only in the Durham City area: Cassop Primary School; Durham Gilesgate Sports College and Sixth Form Centre (Bradford Crescent site); Laurel Avenue Community Primary School; Belmont School Community Arts College; and Sherburn Village Primary School.
An information sharing event for people in the Durham City area will take place at County Hall, Durham, on Wednesday, February 25 at 7pm.
Following the consultation period details of the responses will be considered by Durham County Council’s Cabinet before the decision is made.