TEACHING jobs will have to be sacrificed at a Halifax high school bidding to become an academy. St Catherine’s Catholic High at Holmfield, Halifax, teamed up with an academy in Wakefield last year in a bid to raise standards. And it is due to become an academy itself in September.
But St Catherine’s, whose head teacher is Trish Sheard – has a six-figure budget deficit – and no school is permitted to become an academy while in the red.
That could only be resolved by the loss of up to eight teachers. Chairman of governors Tom Miskell said the deficit had been caused
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by retaining teachers aftter the school’s sixth form closed.
He said talks were under way about resolving it.
Meanwhile neighbouring Trinity Academy has been given the go-ahead to sponsor St Catherine’s as an academy in its own right.
The move could pave the way to a merger – the two eventually becoming a super academy.
Mr Miskell said: “St Catherine’s is optimistic about being an academy in September and we are working closely with our sponsors, the Trinity Academy.
“I can’t say what will happen in the long term but merging remains an option.”
The Leeds Diocesan Council for Education wants all Catholic secondary education in Halifax and Huddersfield to be provided at All Saints Catholic College, Bradley, Huddersfield, from September 2012, when primary pupils in both areas will have equal rights of admission.
In a letter to parents, Michael Gosling, principal of Trinity Academy, said he was pleased the St Catherine’s academy bid had been approved by the Department for Education.
He said: “We will be separate institutions, for example, in governance and senior leadership, while benefiting from economies of scale and opportunities to share expertise.”
He said both academies would follow their own distinct priorities.
Work began last month on a new £30 million academy building to replace the old Holy Trinity Senior School, which will provide space for 1,500 students when it opens in September 2012.