Views sought on proposed academy in Redcar

People on Teesside have been asked to comment on plans to close two secondary schools and create a single academy.

Redcar and Cleveland Council is seeking sponsors to run the new establishment, which would replace Eston Park School and Gillbrook College.

The council said this would raise standards by bringing in outside partners with the appropriate educational expertise.

It follows the rejection of a number of options for the two schools.

Councillor Ian Jeffrey, cabinet member for children's services and education, said a decision to expand Eston Park and to close Gillbrook College, had been referred to the school's adjudicator by Eston Park's governing body.

'Robust solution'

He said: "The adjudicator suggested that the council look at developing a 'coalition of the willing', and that together we explore other opportunities for bringing the schools together.

"A number of meetings took place, but no significant breakthrough was reached.

"The school's offered to work in partnership and tabled a set of proposals, which only amounted to a soft federation and did not satisfy the government's requirements at the time for a robust solution.

"In September 2010 we were approached by the Department for Education, who asked if we had considered a sponsored academy as an option for a single school.

"This option was agreed by cabinet on 7 December 2010."

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