Sleaford schools merger put on hold

PLANS to merge local secondary schools to form a Sleaford Academy have been put on hold as the schools look at other options.

In April last year, the Standard revealed proposals to create a 24million Sleaford Academy, which would have seen the merger of St George’s College of Technology, Sleaford; The Aveland School, Billingborough; and Coteland’s School, Ruskington as a split-site academy.

The Lafford High School, Billinghay, was initially proposed to be part of the academy but was considered too small to be included in such plans.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive had agreed in principle to bid for up to 24m to develop the academy, with financial support from private individuals and companies.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families had carried out visits and recommended the county council apply to bring the schools together.

But now Coun Christine Talbot, executive councillor for secondary education and healthier communities, has written to Sleaford MP Douglas Hogg confirming that plans for an academy have been put on hold. She told Mr Hogg: “The DCSF has put back the availability of funding in such a way that governors see little advantage in pursuing the academies option, and instead want to take forward developments for schools in the area through the Building Schools for the Future Programme.

“The academy proposals would have allowed Sleaford to benefit from renewed school buildings in advance of our overall BSF programme.”

She added: “Since, however, that early funding is no longer available, governors have opted to go down the BSF route rather than the academies route.”