Leeds free school plan gets the go-ahead

A NEW £25m free school in Leeds which is expected to become the biggest in the country and could drive the regeneration of the south of the city centre has been given final approval by Ministers.

Thursday, 1st May 2014, 6:00 am
Principal Rebekah Taylor

The Ruth Gorse Academy will open this September and moves into a purpose built home in Black Bull Street in 2016.

It will eventually have 1,500 places available.

The secondary school is being set up by the Gorse Academies Trust which already runs Morley and Farnley Academies - which are both rated as outstanding by Ofsted.

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Ministers have now signed a funding agreement for the new school to open in 2014.

Free schools are a key policy of the Government which is encouraging the development of new state schools where providers can prove they have parental demand.

Gorse Academies Trust and the new free school are named in memory of Ruth Gorse, a PE teacher at what was then Morley High, who lost a battle with cancer aged just 35.

The plan for the free school has been developed by both the trust and the Leeds Sustainable Development Group which sees it as a major step towards developing family living in the city centre.

For the first two years the school will be located on the Morley Academy site.

It will take on pupils in year seven each year.

This year it will have 95 new year seven places available, rising to 190 in 2015 and 252 once the school moves into its new £25m base.

Rebekah Taylor will be the principal of the Ruth Gorse Academy.

She said: “I am extremely excited about this remarkable opportunity and confident that the staff and students together will create an exceptional and vibrant school that delivers a high quality education for each and every student.”