A NEW school could be open in York as early as September 2017 if plans get the go ahead from the Government.
Ebor Academy Trust, who currently run two schools in York - Robert Wilkinson in Strensall and Haxby Road, have unveiled their plans for the Creative Arts Academy York, which would initially be a primary school for about 420 pupils plus a unit for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Ebor are to submit a bid to central government and need people to go to their website to register interest as part of the bid by March 2.
The aim is for the academy to:
• put creative arts at the centre of the curriculum
• be located at the former Park & Ride site at Askham Bar
• have an extended school day, from 8am to 5pm
• have a York city-wide, inclusive admissions policy to fairly represent the wider community
• have an integrated special needs provision.
The new academy would not be under local authority control and, instead, would be funded directly by the Department for Education, exactly the same way academies are funded.
Ebor Academy Trust chief executive Richard Ludlow said the new school would help create much-needed primary schools in the city.
He said: “This is a genuinely exciting opportunity to create something different and entirely new for the children and young people of York.
“Our performing arts classes will equip children with the tools to express themselves, our visual arts and technology classes will offer creative ways to explore the world and we will employ expert practitioners who can unlock children’s potential.
“The Creative Arts Academy York will be non-traditional and committed to providing an excellent and rounded education. We will interweave creative and academic lessons to stimulate the children. We will be diverse and we will work to ensure all our pupils, regardless of their background, have the resilience and confidence to develop invaluable life skills.”
The two-form entry primary school, which will admit 60 children a year, could be up and running from September next year if the plans, which will soon be submitted to the Department for Education, are approved.
Under changes to education laws, any group can apply to set up a new school and any new school now has to be either a free school or an academy. As Ebor currently runs several schools, this means the new school would be an academy if approved.
Mr Ludlow said that in time, if supported, he hoped the school would expand to take in secondary age children up to 16.
He said: “We will welcome children from across the city and, to help families, in our first year we will accept children in year groups other than Reception, providing there is sufficient demand for places. Our website, www.creativeartsacademyyork.org, is the place for parents and carers to register their interest and find out more.
“And our plans are still coming together. I would like to invite anyone who feels they can contribute to contact me via the website so we can strengthen the bid even further.”
Suzi Digby, a nationally-renowned music educator and broadcaster, said: "I am hugely excited at the prospect of the Creative Arts Academy York. Creative people tend to be independent-minded, balanced and well-rounded. They are vital for our future. Having music and other creative arts embedded into a curriculum adds an indispensable dimension to learning. There is no doubt children will thrive in this exciting environment.”
Alison Goffin, of York Music Service, said: “Music, dance and drama are so vital to the development and sense of personal achievement of every child. The team that are putting together the plans for this new academy have a real vision for improving access and opportunities for every child – and it's so exciting that it will be happening in York.”
Outside York, Ebor Academy Trust also runs the Ebor Academy Filey and Brotherton and Byram Community Primary Academy near Knottingley. In September this year they will open Staynor Hall Community Primary Academy in Selby.