A FREE school for pupils of all ages could provide more than 1,000 new places which are needed in a city, according to the head teacher leading the plans.
The Temple Learning Academy in Leeds could open its doors to primary school pupils next year and to 11-year-olds from 2016 if the plans gets final approval from the Department for Education (DfE).
The school is being planned by the Temple Newsam Learning Partnership Trust – a group of existing schools in the east of the city. Martin Fleetwood, the principal at Temple Moor High School, who will also lead the planned new academy, said that all schools in the trust in east Leeds were oversubscribed.
He also warned that planned housing developments in Seacroft and Thorpe Park would increase demand for secondary places further.
The plan for the Temple Learning Academy has been given initial DfE approval.
Talks are now ongoing between the trust, Leeds Council and Whitehall officials about basing it on the site of the East Leeds Leisure Centre.
The plan is to create a through age school which would recruit 60 children in reception year next September and then another 120 year seven pupils for the secondary phase in 2016.
If full by 2021 the school would provide more than 1,000 new places for families in the east of the city.
Diane Potter, operations manager at Temple Newsam Learning Partnership, said: “We know from speaking to parents that there are some people who are having to travel big distances, bus journeys to get to schools elsewhere and its heartbreaking.”