Sponsor quits project to build new Sheffield school over ‘unacceptable financial risk’

Silverdale School

Silverdale School

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Plans to build a new school in Sheffield to cope with rising demand for places have been hit after its sponsor withdrew because of ‘unacceptable financial risk’.

In July, the Silverdale-Multi Academy Trust, which runs Silverdale School, was selected as the sponsor for the new school in south-west Sheffield by the Regional Schools Commissioner.

It was due to open in September 2018 to serve pupils aged between 11 and 18 and had been called Silverhill University School.

But the trust has said that after examining the business model for the school, it has been deemed the project ‘would put the trust at unacceptable financial risk’.

Silverdale School headteacher Roisin Paul said: “We are disappointed that we can’t continue with Silverhill, for which we had such a strong vision.

“But the latest financial developments mean that the risk to the Multi-Academy Trust has become too great.”

She added: “Following our rating as outstanding in our last Ofsted inspection, we are determined to give more students the opportunity to fulfil their potential within the Silverdale ethos. We continue to look to develop Silverdale Trust through more collaboration and strengthen our formal relationships with other existing schools.

“The continued aim is to create a family of schools who will work in partnership to provide outstanding educational experiences to the young people of Sheffield, more high quality professional development for staff and a joined up and proactive teacher training, recruitment and retention strategy.”

No one from Sheffield Council was available for comment on what the decision means for the project.

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