Calderdale’s biggest school wins approval

COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead for the new Trinity Academy to be extended to cater for children from nearby St Catherine’s High School, at Holmfield, Halifax.

The Leeds Diocese intends to close St Catherine’s in the summer of 2013 and concentrate secondary provision in Huddersfield.

The academy is still under construction and is due to provide 1,500 places when it opens next summer.

The planned extension will cater for another 400 youngsters, eventually making it the biggest secondary school in Calderdale.

Academy principal Michael Gosling said: “We are pleased that a decision has now been reached and that we are able to start planning how this will work in practice.

“People may feel anxious about what this might mean for them but we are hoping to have firm plans in place that we can share as quickly as possible with parents, students, staff and the wider community.”

Calderdale Council had considered trying to keep the existing high school open but felt the £4 million demanded by the diocese for the land and buildings was prohibitive.

The council will pay for the academy extension from a £7.25 million Department for Education grant.

Education spokesman Coun Ashley Evans said: “Enlarging Trinity Academy is the most sensible and cost-effective way of ensuring there are good school places within easy travelling distance for the young people of north Halifax.”

Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield, said on behalf of the sponsors of Trinity Academy: “We look forward to exploring how this proposal will work on a practical level and how an expansion of Trinity Academy can offer more students from the local area the opportunity to achieve their potential.”

The council has also agreed to provide additional accommodation for Ravenscliffe School’s 16–19-year-old students at Spring Hall, Halifax.