Manchester

Bolton Wanderers Free School 'not financially viable'

Bolton Wanderers' Macron Stadium Image copyright Ian S/Geograph
Image caption The school is part of a £100m development near the club's stadium

A football club's free school will close at the end of the academic year because of low pupil numbers, its trustees have said.

Bolton Wanderers Free School, which opened in 2014 as part of a £100m development near the club's stadium, offers courses to up to 400 students, but only had 95 enrol in 2015.

The school's trustees said the numbers meant it was "not financially viable".

An inspection by Ofsted in September 2016 found the school to be inadequate.

Inspectors said "a culture of low aspirations" at the school resulted in "too many students making poor progress and not meeting their target grades".

The institution offers a range of vocational courses for 16 to 19-year-olds.

Principal Toni Carr said the school was working with other education providers to find alternative courses for its students, adding that existing students in Year 13 would "continue to follow their current courses and complete these in the summer term".

She also said the school would "endeavour to ensure that teaching and learning within the college will continue with present staff... [to] ensure students are prepared for examinations this summer."

Bolton Council said it was "sorry" to hear of the closure and was "supporting the school and working directly with the young people to help them with their transitions to other educational institutions".

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