HULL’S first “free school” could receive planning permission next week when proposals to build a 600-place secondary school at the site of the former home of Hull FC go before councillors.
If approved, the proposed Boulevard Academy could open in September next year, signalling a new chapter for secondary education in that part of west Hull.
The £8.2m academy, which would be built over two and three storeys where The Boulevard stadium once stood, would be outside of local authority control and offer a challenging educational environment for its pupils, with up to 120 being invited to enrol for its first year.
It would operate an extended school year, including a Saturday school each half-term and a two-week summer school.
The school day would also be extended to begin at 8.30am and end at 4pm.
The prospectus explains: “The reason for this is simple – if students are to achieve the highest results then they need more active teaching and learning time.”
Life skills and project-based learning will form part of the teaching plan and some areas of the school, including ICT facilities, the learning library and learning resource centre, have been modelled on open-plan offices to reflect the modern business environment.
Academically, the school will deliver the English Baccalaureate of core subjects; English, maths, science, a modern language and history or geography.
Carol White, one of three trustees at The Boulevard Academy Trust, which is delivering the school, said: “Our mission or drive is very much based on an American education philosophy, KIP – knowledge is power. Any child from any sort of background can be helped to achieve with good and appropriate teaching and that’s what we’re all about.”
The development would include a memorial garden in tribute to the site’s sporting past.
Plans for delivery are continuing – the deadline for applications for the post of school principal is today and the successful candidate is expected to be in place in April.
He or she will be accountable to an 11-strong team of governors, including two parent governors and one nominated by the city council, the landowner, which will charge a peppercorn rent on a 125-year lease.