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Bidders sought for new Kirklees school; Windmill Lane site is selected.


BIDDERS interested in setting up a new school in North Kirklees have been sent details of the process.

And several are expected to attend an information seminar later this month.

Charities, businesses, parents, faith groups, individuals and Kirklees Council are being asked to register an interest in running the new school for 11 to 16 year olds which will be built at Windmill Lane in Batley.

They will also have the opportunity to get involved in the design of the new school.

The trend for such groups to get involved is growing, with several projects already under way in Lancashire and the north east.

Education consultants DTW, appointed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families has invited bids following a controversial decision by the council in July.

Residents in Birkenshaw had been fighting for months for a new high school on the site of the village's middle school.

The council's Cabinet decided against building that school two weeks ago.

And a special panel of councillors, which had been asked to examine the issue, decided not to re-open the matter.

The council's Cabinet ruled on several schools as part of a pounds 200m plan for high schools in north Kirklees.

Most controversially, it decided to set up a co-educational school for 1,350 pupils on the Batley Girls High site at Howden Clough, rather than build a high school on the site of the middle school.

It is proposed the new school will open in September 2013 following the proposed closure of Birkenshaw Middle School in August the same year.

DTW will be running an information seminar on September 14 for anyone interested.

Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, where a local authority has identified the need for a new school, a competition must be held to choose who will set it up.

Formal bids will have to be submitted by December 21 and a decision on who will set up the school is expected to be made later in the year.

Bidding groups who want to set up a voluntary controlled, foundation or Trust school will be asked to get involved in the design work for the new project.

If a group wants to set up a voluntary aided school they will have sole responsibility for implementing the proposals, including the design of the school. If capital investment is part of a Building Schools for the Future project, the Local Education Authority will coordinate procurement of goods and services, including building work.

If the bidder is an Academy sponsor they will be solely responsible for implementing the proposals, including design of the school.

Peter Berry from DTW said: "It's a chance to participate in shaping the new generation and building a prosperous future for our children."

Anyone interested in bidding to set up the school and who wants to be invited to the seminar should call Sarah Newton on 01287 610404 or email
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 2, 2009
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