Burnley's free school site revealed

This Is Lancashire: Burnley's free school site revealed Burnley's free school site revealed

THE site of Burnley's controversial first free school has been revealed.

Backers have chosen the former Habergham High School, in Byron Street, as the preferred site for the ‘Christian ethos’ school.

The buildings were vacated as part of the £250million Building Schools for the Future programme.

But the Burnley High School plan has been branded 'disastrous' by a leading union chief.

The location was announced after the Life Church Burnley, Community Solutions Lancashire and the Chapel Street Schools Trust held a meeting with 100 parents.

A statutory process is now taking place between Lancashire County Council and the Department for Education over the site.

If given the go ahead, it would open in September, at a cost of £5million, with 90 Year Seven places available, but will ultimately see approximately 700 puipls including 200 sixth formers.

Executive principal for the proposed school, Elizabeth Haddock, said parents were very pleased with the choice of site.

She said: “There is lots of outdoor space including courts for games and grass pitches. The classrooms are large and airy with plenty of natural light.

“Every student will have a staff member to coach them and the school is deliberately smaller than many secondary schools to ensure an excellent education individually tailored to each student."

However opinions were divided over the impact of education in the town.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said he backed the plan and hoped it would keep children studying locally.

He said: “I support the plan for a new high school and I’m happy for it to go ahead. As well as bringing something to our educational system it will retain the playing fields and facilities at this site which is a delight to the residents in that area.

“Currently 600 young people leave Burnley every day to be educated somewhere else and that has to stop. Hopefully this new school will be a draw for those young people travelling elsewhere.”

But faith groups, teachers and also representatives of major teaching unions, have joined with Burnley Council to oppose the plan.

Borough and county councillor Marcus Johnstone, who was schools’ cabinet member during the BSF process, has previously voiced concerns about the development.

NUT representative for Lancashire, Simon Jones, said the school would have ‘disastrous effects’.

He said: “The impact on other schools is something that cannot be avoided and has been seen elsewhere.

“If the site needs a use or more places are needed it is for the authority to oversee. In this time of financial constraints it is just wasteful to hand over funds to people outside the educational system for these projects.”

Last year The Lancashire Telegraph revealed how there were still hundreds of empty desks in Burnley’s high schools – with Hameldon Community College less than half full.

Comments (12)

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10:15am Sat 15 Feb 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

Hundreds of empty desks and a half filled college so what do you do, open another faith school, you could not make this up!!!! Looks like Burnley councils as bad as Blackburn's.
Hundreds of empty desks and a half filled college so what do you do, open another faith school, you could not make this up!!!! Looks like Burnley councils as bad as Blackburn's. Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 3

10:51am Sat 15 Feb 14

psch says...

The school is not welcome here, we don't want to go back to the congestion and disruption caused by school being too close together. P**s off!!!
The school is not welcome here, we don't want to go back to the congestion and disruption caused by school being too close together. P**s off!!! psch
  • Score: 6

11:23am Sat 15 Feb 14

jawdropper says...

Because what Burnley needs is more faith-related segregation...
Because what Burnley needs is more faith-related segregation... jawdropper
  • Score: 5

11:31am Sat 15 Feb 14

DaveBurnley says...

This school will now take a share of the money available for education in the area. Other schools will as a result get less.

The outcome will be that all pupils will have less spent on them for books and resources, all at a time when the government is demanding higher standards in schools!
This school will now take a share of the money available for education in the area. Other schools will as a result get less. The outcome will be that all pupils will have less spent on them for books and resources, all at a time when the government is demanding higher standards in schools! DaveBurnley
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Sat 15 Feb 14

jimpy0 says...

If our asian bretheren can build or open schools wherever and whenever they want why cant "whitey"
If our asian bretheren can build or open schools wherever and whenever they want why cant "whitey" jimpy0
  • Score: 7

2:26pm Sat 15 Feb 14

jawdropper says...

jimpy0 wrote:
If our asian bretheren can build or open schools wherever and whenever they want why cant "whitey"
Ah, the old "two wrongs make a right" mentality.
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: If our asian bretheren can build or open schools wherever and whenever they want why cant "whitey"[/p][/quote]Ah, the old "two wrongs make a right" mentality. jawdropper
  • Score: -5

3:36pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Marsdogs says...

“Every student will have a staff member to coach them".

Isn't that called having a form teacher??
“Every student will have a staff member to coach them". Isn't that called having a form teacher?? Marsdogs
  • Score: 2

3:53pm Sat 15 Feb 14

west-minister says...

Yet more free, faith schools opening at pace. At the expense of existing schools, the taxpayer and society. The government seriously needs to re-think it's policy on the free, faith schools program before it gets out of hand.
Yet more free, faith schools opening at pace. At the expense of existing schools, the taxpayer and society. The government seriously needs to re-think it's policy on the free, faith schools program before it gets out of hand. west-minister
  • Score: 2

10:07pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Jack-son says...

So Hameldon Community College is half empty. What does that tell you about the standard of teaching being given at the existing colleges/schools.
The time is right for a new initiative that will centre on excellence with a faith background.
Are these pupils at the new college also entitled to be funded as others have been over the years at all the other colleges/schools.
So Hameldon Community College is half empty. What does that tell you about the standard of teaching being given at the existing colleges/schools. The time is right for a new initiative that will centre on excellence with a faith background. Are these pupils at the new college also entitled to be funded as others have been over the years at all the other colleges/schools. Jack-son
  • Score: 1

10:12pm Sat 15 Feb 14

turbo5 says...

Its not a faith school supported by the CofE , That's St Christophers and St Wilfreds for East Lancs. This is a Life church school. no selection criteria like mandatory church attendance so basically it's just another school in Burnley on top of the 5 others. It will not tempt the Burnley CofE kids from St Christophers and St Wilfreds.
Its not a faith school supported by the CofE , That's St Christophers and St Wilfreds for East Lancs. This is a Life church school. no selection criteria like mandatory church attendance so basically it's just another school in Burnley on top of the 5 others. It will not tempt the Burnley CofE kids from St Christophers and St Wilfreds. turbo5
  • Score: 4

3:24am Sun 16 Feb 14

Timefor says...

Not sure what sort of "faith" it is that deliberately sets out to further divide our local community - certainly aint Christian. It'll be a very sad day for Burnley, its children, its wider population and education if/when this divisive and unnecessary business enterprise actually opens. I'll leave it to those involved in education to comment on the quality of the education to be provided.
Not sure what sort of "faith" it is that deliberately sets out to further divide our local community - certainly aint Christian. It'll be a very sad day for Burnley, its children, its wider population and education if/when this divisive and unnecessary business enterprise actually opens. I'll leave it to those involved in education to comment on the quality of the education to be provided. Timefor
  • Score: 2

10:30am Tue 25 Feb 14

Fewster2013 says...

I went to at Christopher's in accrington parents believe in that school like they do in st Wilfred's Blackburn is burnley ready for this kind of project or will it just become a disaster with the life church on bored who can not even finish there own build of a new church since the last time I went past and in the making ruin a perfect area to be left with a empty unfinished building that I know of.
I went to at Christopher's in accrington parents believe in that school like they do in st Wilfred's Blackburn is burnley ready for this kind of project or will it just become a disaster with the life church on bored who can not even finish there own build of a new church since the last time I went past and in the making ruin a perfect area to be left with a empty unfinished building that I know of. Fewster2013
  • Score: -5

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