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PARENTS MAY RUN SCHOOL; Bid chance for would-be primary bosses.

Byline: BENTURNER

MERSEY parents are being given the chance to prove they could run their children's school better than the council.

Mums and dads in Knowsley are being given the opportunity to put forward plans to take ownership of a new primary school.

As part of a shake-up of primaries in the borough the new school is to be built at The Croft, Stockbridge Village.

The school is due to open in 2011 and will replace Brookside and Nine Tree primary schools. The majority of pupils will be drawn from the Stockbridge Village area.

Today it was confirmed that parents could go head to head with Knowsley council and other bidders and submit rival plans to run the school.

Parent-run schools like any other must abide by gover nment rules and follow the national curriculum.

But they can be independent of the council, giving parents the choice to hire staff and set their own admissions.

Gover nment r ules established in 2006 dictate that where a local authority has identified the need for a new school, a competition must be held to choose who will set it up.

This could be parents, a charity, a business, faith group, council or even an individual.

Consultancy firm DTW has been appointed by the gover nment to manage the competition and interested parents are being invited to an information seminar on Monday, October 12.

Peter Berry from DTW said: "The key aim of the competition is to ensure every child, no matter where they live, receives an excellent education.

"The competition will open up the sector to individuals, groupsororganisationswhocan bring new skills, energy and expertise to education."

The 210-place school will cater for four to 11-year-olds and a further 26 full time nursery pupils. A children's centre will also be located within the school.

Parents opting to throw their hat in the ring will go head to head with Knowsley council with a spokesman confirming it was "also seeking to submit a bid in response to the competition."

The council stresses this followed "support having been expressed by parents during the consultation period for the local authority to submit a proposal for a community school".

The independent Office of Schools Adjudicator will assess and determine the outcome of the competition.

If parents were successful it would see them join an elite list of schools with Bolnore Village Primary, West Sussex. the only parent-run primary school to open to date.

To attend the seminar email office@dtw.co.uk or call Sarah Newton on 01287 610404.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 6, 2009
Words:422
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PARENTS MAY RUN SCHOOL; Bid chance for would-be primary bosses.

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