Two Blackpool schools set to become merged academy

Two secondary schools in Lancashire are set to merge and become an academy, the local council has revealed.

Blackpool Collegiate High School and Bispham High School in Blackpool could form a new school commencing in January 2014, Blackpool Council said.

The new school would be built on the site of Collegiate High and open in 2015, with the council looking for new uses for the Bispham site.

The proposals are now part of a public consultation process.

Academies are independent, state-funded schools, which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through a local authority.

'Exciting' plans

Avis Gilmore, North West Regional Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said the union was concerned about the implication of the merger for jobs and the possibility of changed working conditions.

She added: "We would expect full consultation on the closure and merger."

Dayle Harrison, Collegiate head teacher, called the plans "exciting" in a post on the school's website.

He wrote: "We want to offer the very best education and care to each and every child, both now and in the future, in an outstanding place of learning.

Governors' decision

"We feel that the joining of the two schools in one brand new building will certainly give us this!"

Margaret Singleton, Bispham High head teacher, said in a message on the school's website that its governing body was considering the proposal from Blackpool Council and the Department for Education.

Apologising to parents that the news was broken by the media, she added: "Unfortunately we only heard ourselves the night before the reports were made and were unable to communicate the contents to you."

Blackpool Collegiate was formed in the 1970s by the merger of Blackpool Grammar School for boys with Collegiate Girls Grammar.

Bispham was formerly known as Greenlands High School for girls after Arnold High girls grammar amalgamated with Claremont girls secondary modern in 1975.

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