Charity linked to football club bids to open school above souvenir shop

A CHARITY linked to Bradford City football club is planning to open its own state school at the Valley Parade ground next year above the club shop.

The One in a Million charity, which was co-founded by the club's assistant manager and former player Wayne Jacobs, has submitted a bid to the Department for Education to open a free school in September 2011.

The charity was formed in 2006 to use sport, art and enterprise to help educate young people within Bradford. It currently works with young people who are not in education, employment or training and has also helped run football community projects across the district.

Now it is hoping to become a mainstream education provider under the Government's free school policy which encourages groups of parents or teachers to set up their own state funded schools in their communities.

One in a Million is based at Bradford City's ground and is a community partner of the league two club. The charity is extending its classroom facilities at the Bantams Business Centre at Valley Parade and will carry out further expansion if it gets the go-ahead to open a free school. The bid submitted to Ministers is for a school with 36 pupils in year seven expanding to become an 11-to-18 school of around 250 pupils. The One in a Million pupils would be split into three classes of 12 pupils for each year group.

Paul Langton, the charity's operations manager said: "One in a Million was set up to use sport, art and enterprise to help educate young people in Bradford so setting up a free school fits our remit perfectly."

There are four free school proposals in Bradford. The King's Science Academy is being backed by teacher Sajid Hussain to provide up to 500 places. It was the first free school plan in the region to be accepted onto the programme by the Government this year.

The Rainbow School project aims to open a primary in the city by next year. It is being led by ATL Yorkshire, a Bradford based not-for-profit business and enterprise support organisation.

There is also a plan for a Bradford District Free School backed by Joan Law, a former secondary school head teacher in the city.