Birmingham & Black Country

Perry Beeches V school will 'put others at risk'

Talbot Way Image copyright Google
Image caption Perry Beeches V will open in Talbot Way, Small Heath

A £10m new free school in part of Birmingham will cause an excess of pupil places and put other schools in the area at risk, a council has said.

Perry Beeches V is expected to open in Small Heath in September after the Department for Education gave it the go-ahead.

Birmingham City Council said advice it gave about the unsuitability of the location was ignored.

The Government said Perry Beeches V would give parents additional choice.

'Incredibly disappointing'

Councillor Brigid Jones, the council's cabinet member for children and family services, said the decision was "not in the best interests of the children of east Birmingham."

The authority said it was originally consulted about it opening in Perry Barr but was informed in mid-December the site had been transferred to Talbot Way in Small Heath.

Ms Jones, who has written to education minister Lord Nash with her concerns, said the move was "incredibly disappointing" and could jeopardise work to improve other schools in the area.

"Opening a school of that size there, now, would exacerbate the inequality of access to strong provision in that area and has significant potential to further reduce the life chances of children in east Birmingham," she said.

Perry Beeches V is the fifth in a chain of free schools launched by Liam Nolan. Free schools are funded by central government but not run by local authorities.

A Department for Education spokesman said free schools "are a vital part of our plan for education". He said Perry Beeches V would help drive up standards up across the board.

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