New Sheffield school plan will continue despite surprise withdrawal of sponsor

Plans for a new school in Sheffield will not be scrapped, despite a major sponsor who planned to run the site pulling out.

Monday, 28th November 2016, 5:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:42 am
Academy bosses who run Silverdale School said 'unacceptable financial risk' was behind the withdrawal

In July, the Silverdale-Multi Academy Trust, which runs Silverdale School, was selected as the sponsor by the regional education commissioner for a new site off Carter Knowle Road.

The plans were drawn up to combat a shortage of school places in the south-west of the city.

Coun Jackie Drayton

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But the trust pulled out of the arrangement to run the so-called Silverhill University School , citing an ‘unacceptable’ financial risk following changes to the capital build scheme.

It is understood council chiefs were shocked at the announcement, made late on Friday afternoon.

A meeting was held yesterday to discuss the council’s next move. It is understood other sponsors are being sought to take on the project.

Planning permission for the school is expected to be formally submitted this week. Residents are being urged to attend a drop-in meeting to view the plans on Friday at Ecclesall library from 2pm to 8pm.

Town Hall bosses held a meeting today to discuss further options

Council bosses are still hoping the secondary school and accompanying sixth form will open by September 2018.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, schools and families at Sheffield Council, said: “Silverdale Multi-Academy Trust was chosen by the Government as the sponsor for our new school to serve children and families in the south-west of Sheffield.

“Since they were appointed in the summer, we have been working very closely with the Academy Trust to help support their plans.

“I am sorry that Silverdale Multi-Academy Trust now feel unable to proceed with this opportunity. However, our vision is to create excellent local schools that enable every child to reach their full potential – and that vision remains.

Coun Jackie Drayton

“Our next step is to work with our partners to ensure our vision, for excellent education for every Sheffield child, is driven forward.”

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Town Hall bosses held a meeting today to discuss further options