Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford Academy plans to build £5m sixth form centre
9:00am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
Bradford Academy has revealed plans to build a new £5 million sixth form centre on the site of a former nearby special school.
An outline planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council to demolish the derelict Bolling Special School on Anerley Street and build a new two-storey block for the Teasdale Street academy, which currently teaches 320 post-16 students in facilities designed for just 150.
The academy, which has held a consultation event with pupils and parents, has applied to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for funding for the project and is expecting to hear whether it has been successful in April.
The proposal would allow it to take on 350 sixth formers and create 11 new full-time and four part-time jobs.
Howard Astin, chairman of governors, said: “We would like to be able to provide our post-16 learners with space to study and socialise so they are able to stay on-site throughout the school day and beyond.
“We would also like to incorporate high quality catering facilities that can be accessed throughout the day in addition to specialist study space so our learners can study independently at times to suit them.
“We would also hope to be able to use the facility for adult learning and community use without compromising our current provision lower down the school. We have always had the ambition to provide this and this development would be able to do this well.”
The former special school site is owned by Bradford Council and a report in the planning application says if funding is approved, Bradford Academy has already agreed to taking a long-term occupation of the site with the Council.
The document says current sixth form students are educated using “smart timetabling” of the existing academy buildings, but adds: “There are times and facilities such as informal student learning and social activities which the present building cannot accommodate so students tend to take these breaks in formal teaching as an opportunity to leave the site during these times which can cause friction with neighbours.”
The academy opened in 2007 and has been constructed in two phases over eight years – initially as a secondary school for pupils aged 11-16 and more recently as a primary school for students aged 3-11. It currently uses the empty special school building for “overspill” accommodation during exams and for the parking of school minibuses and maintenance vehicles.