HEAD teachers today gave their views on the freezing of plans to merge two York schools and expand a third.

The Evening Press reported yesterday that City of York Council had put on hold plans to merge Lowfield and Oaklands secondary schools and increase the size of Manor School.

The council said the proposals will now be held over until the next bidding round for Government funding next year, with admission arrangements for September 2005 operating as normal.

It blamed the delay on the Department of Education and Science's decision to axe a capital funding programme called Partnership for Church Schools - the planned funding mechanism for the expansion of Manor School from an intake of 640 to 860 places.

Brian Crosby, head teacher at Manor School said: "We are extremely disappointed by these recent developments and feel that the city of York has tried to come up with a constructive plan for the future development for the west side of the city, but has been let down badly by central Government.

"We hope that in the future the school will be able to see the expansion proposed in the original plan take place and both the school's senior leadership team and the governors are working actively towards that end."

But Lowfield School head teacher John Thompson said the funding was vital for any such scheme to go ahead.

He said: "My governors and I have been kept fully informed by the council of the developments over these proposals and we don't welcome the continued uncertainty this has caused.

"However we do feel that it's very important that if any of the proposals are taken forward they are taken forward on a firm footing so that they can be successful and obviously having them fully funded is a major part of that."

City of York Council consulted with parents, pupils and teachers last year over proposals to rationalise schools in western York following a drop in the number of primary school pupils.

Updated: 10:23 Friday, July 16, 2004