Academy trust boss believes new school in Burngreave will help bridge the education gap in Sheffield

Libby Nicholas, chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust
Libby Nicholas, chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust
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The leader behind a new school in Burngreave believe it will help bridge the education divide in Sheffield.

Libby Nicholas, chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust, said the through-school for 1,200 children aged from two to 18, will give youngsters 'the best education possible'.

An artist impression of the new school in Burngreave

An artist impression of the new school in Burngreave

She felt that youngsters in the north of Sheffield do not have access to the same standard of education as those in the south.

The school, planned to open in September 2018, will be known as Astrea Academy Sheffield and will incorporate the old Grade II listed Pye Bank School building.

Ms Nicholas said: "Astrea was the goddess of justice and equality and we propose to build a school that gives children same experience in education as those in the other side of the city."

She said she was keen to improve the standards of education in that area of Sheffield.

"We want to improve it and even it out. At the moment families who are ambitious for their children, and we want to encourage that, are sending their children to the other side of the city. There are a number of access problems such as travel and additional costs," she said.

"We want to make sure children on this side of the city have access to the best education possible."

It will be one of two new schools built in the city next year, with a secondary and sixth form school planned for 1,200 pupils off off Carterknowle Road.

Ms Nicholas said the school will become 'a beacon' and bring much needed investment to the north of the city.

"We are hugely excited about the new school and we are working closely with the council," she said.

"It is one of the most exciting things happening in Sheffield at the moment.

"It is going to be a beacon school. It is on a site that is looking out over the city and it is going to transform that area."

The trust meets regularly with Sheffield Council and architects to discuss plans and ensure the design of the school will 'meet the needs of the children'.

She added: "It is a stunning site. The views are just astonishing and it has a sense of looking out across the city and this is open to them. The landscape is beautiful.

"It's such a blend of the old and the new. The junior schools is a grade two listed building that we are transforming. The secondary school and post 16 in very modern and futuristic and lots of glass.

"There will be sports provision and lots of green space.

"We are breaking the ground in a couple of weeks. We are running parent engagement sessions to make sure the community get to know us and get to see that we are part of this regeneration and investment in the area."

The trust is currently developing the school's curriculum - developing it from when pupils leave the school down to nursery, ensuring the students are ready for the next stage of their education or career.

South Yorkshire Police want a raft of measures introduced at the school because they say it is in a 'high crime area'.

The force wants no public footpaths through school grounds, as they fear it could create an opportunity for crime and anti-social behaviour.

Other measures include landscaping to be kept below one metre and trees should have no foliage below two metres. External furniture such as benches should be fixed to the ground to prevent them being used as a climbing aid or tool to break into the school

Astrea Academy Trust has 16 schools across South Yorkshire - the latest, Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre, in Wombwell, joined this week.

Principal Toby Eastaugh said: “I am delighted that we are the first secondary school to join Astrea; it is a significant landmark for Netherwood.

"The key values of the trust, and the capacity and support it shall provide, will be of great benefit to our community and help secure long term success for the academy.”