Two new free schools approved in Calderdale

Northern Lights Free School approved for site on corner of Francis Street and Hopwood Lane.'Back, from the left, educational advisers Najma Ismail and Shaheen Matloob, project lead Fiaz Farooq, architect Russell Holmes and accountant Mudassar Mahmood.'Front, Aaminah Noor, four, Ibraaheem Aslam, four, Lubaabah Ahmed, two, and Muhammad Saamee, two.

Northern Lights Free School approved for site on corner of Francis Street and Hopwood Lane.'Back, from the left, educational advisers Najma Ismail and Shaheen Matloob, project lead Fiaz Farooq, architect Russell Holmes and accountant Mudassar Mahmood.'Front, Aaminah Noor, four, Ibraaheem Aslam, four, Lubaabah Ahmed, two, and Muhammad Saamee, two.

0
Have your say

Calderdale will be home to two of the new free schools approved by the Department for Education.

The Maltings College, part of a development by Hipperholme and Lightcliffe at the old Webster’s Fountain Head Brewery, has been given free school status.

As has a new primary school at the Benbridge Centre, Francis Street, Halifax.

The school will be known as The Northern Lights Primary School and has been set up by the Northern Lights group.

Project lead Fiaz Farooq said: “We are an organisation basedin the north of England. Since 2007 our principle focus has been working towards academic excellence and betterment in the community.

“Most of the members come from the Park Ward and we felt we can make real difference to people in the area.”

Now that the school has been named as a free school work starts on appointing staff and renovating the Benbridge Centre in time for opening in September 2013.

Free schools receive money directly from the government and have more control than community schools over how the school is run.

The Maltings College is aimed at pupils aged 16 to 19 and will provide vocational courses in subjects such as health and beauty and childcare in a “state-of-theart work-related facility”.

Anthony Smith, Executive Head of HLHS Academy Trust said: “Free School status allows us to change everything about our provision without being confined to a set school day and year. We will continue to grow and develop “Academic” provision for 2013.”

Sue MacMahon, secretary of the Calderdale NUT, said: “The NUT is opposed to free schools on educational grounds.
“Having two free schools in Calderdale is going to have a direct impact on primary and secondary education.
“It will impact on places and funding.
“Most importantly it is money that is being taken away from community schools.
“We are going to end up in Calderdale with a six tier schools system - community schools, grammar schools, foundation schools, academies, independent schools and now free schools.
“This present government is going to damage state education forever.”