Kingsway Academy to close, school officials confirm

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Liverpool Echo

Kingsway Academy will close in August 2018 , school officials have confirmed.

The Liverpool Echo reports that last week rumours started on social media of the school’s imminent closure but, when approached by the Liverpool Echo, the Wirral academy they said it was “business as usual” and planning was under way for the September intake.

Now the school has confirmed it will shut it doors for good at the end of August 2018, after a final decision was made by the secretary of state for education.

A statement from the Northern Schools Trust, who run the Kingsway Academy, said: “The Northern Schools Trust have worked in close partnership with the DfE and representatives of the LA over the last week to unanimously agree a way forward.

“We can now announce the series of timings that will allow us to support our families through this difficult period.

“We are very grateful for the commitment of all parties to working in the best interest of our families and agreeing a very good alternative to an immediate closure.”

Children now in year six, with places at Kingsway, will be given places at other schools for the start of the upcoming school year.

The Trust say the council will work with parents to find other schools and there are “more than sufficient places available” for all children starting secondary school.

Parents, staff and governors have now been informed of the plans to close.

Councillor Chris Blakeley told the Echo the council would now “pick up the pieces”.

He said: “From the point of view of the council a school closing is never good news but at least the school has given the parents 12 months to sort out alternative places or whether they want to move their children now.

“Lots of people have already put in a request to transfer and there’s no doubt after this news many more will do.

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“It gives the council 12 months to pick up the pieces. It’s always sad to lose a school.”

Students in year 10 will have a year to complete their GCSEs and the Trust said there will now be a number of meetings, including some with parents’ groups to “ensure a smooth process to closure.”

They also said students have the option to go to other schools within the Northern Schools Trust, which operates four other schools in Liverpool and Wigan.

The Trust previously told the Echo a combination of low student numbers and “crippling” costs and PFI repayments had meant the school was deemed “unviable” and talks over its future were under way.

The DfE had confirmed a decision was made “in principle” to close the school in March following a request from the Trust.

Nigel Ward, CEO of the Northern Schools Trust said: “While we are disappointed to have reached this situation due to continued falling pupil numbers, we are very grateful to the DfE and LA for their support to keep The Kingsway Academy open until the end of the next academic year.

“This is a very good alternative and allows for a much more coordinated and planned approach to securing alternative school places for our children either locally or within the schools of the Northern Schools Trust.

“All parties are working together in the best interests of our families and their children.”

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