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Relief as girls' school is saved from closure
[March 02, 2006]

Relief as girls' school is saved from closure

(Hull Daily Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Pupils at a girls' school faced with closure are today celebrating after they were told it had been saved.

Hull City Council had been considering building two new schools on one site to replace Newland School For Girls and Trinity House under its GBP220m Building Schools For The Future (BSF) scheme.

But after an outcry from both schools, Cllr Peter Clark, portfolio holder for education, has begun mapping out a new future for the two secondary schools.

Under the new scheme, Newland School in Cottingham Road, west Hull, will be modernised.

Trinity House in Princes Dock Street, Hull city centre, which can accommodate about 280 pupils, will move to a new building, believed to be on the site of the old Nautical College in the Boulevard, west Hull.

It is estimated the building programme will cost between GBP15m and GBP20m.

The schools were told the preferred option under the BSF programme meant they would close. In their place, a new 450- place girls' school would be built with a 450-place boys' school at Newland's Cottingham Road site or at two separate sites in the city centre.

The council today insisted "all options" under the consultation process remain open until Friday, March 10, when the exercise ends.

But Cllr Clark said he could "envisage no problems" in having the alternative plans ratified by his cabinet colleagues in the spring and said he had told both schools of the revised plans.

He said: "Speaking to the staff, parents and governors, it's clear the preferred option of having the schools on one site was a non-starter. They were worried it would end up as a co-ed school.

"They presented strong, powerful and forceful arguments and we've acted on them.

"We want to maintain the ethos of the schools and to present parents with diversity of choice." Headteacher of Newland School For Girls Angela Martinson, who only last month made an impassioned plea at a public meeting about her school's future, said: "I do remain cautious. I want to know for definite that the school will be enhanced to make it fit for the 21st century.

"We want to stay, but we don't want to stand still. We need significant modernisation." The council has not put a figure on how much is to be invested in the school or a timescale.

Deputy headteacher of Trinity House Karen Keaney said: "We look forward to seeing the new proposals for the expansion of the school." Links Building Schools For The Future Hull City Council Hull City Council

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