Bye-de-bye to Northcliffe School

As the summer holidays draw to a close governors, staff and students from the former Northcliffe School in Conisbrough are officially looking forward to a September opening of the new De Warenne Academy.

The Academy opens in existing buildings, this month, and is sponsored by the School Partnership Trust (SPT), a Yorkshire-based educational and social charity. Doncaster Council and Dearne Valley College are co-sponsors.

Unlike other schools, it will be funded directly by the Government, rather than via the local authority.

The Academy will remain in the family of Doncaster schools and there will be a focus on improving literacy skills, with English as one of its two specialisms.

As part of its Applied Learning specialism, the academy will offer more vocational courses in partnership with Dearne Valley College.

The project management of the Academy process has been carried out by Place Group, a leading education and children's services consultancy.

An 18-month consultation process has taken place on the Academy proposal in principle, as part of Doncaster Council's transformational Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme.

The vital Funding Agreement has now been signed by Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls.

Meanwhile, the students have had a hand in the design of their new school uniform which they will be given FREE.

They forwarded ideas for the uniform specification, which will now consist of: black blazer with embroidered logo, black trousers and white shirt with a blue and gold tie.

The new uniform will be ready in time for the re-opening and supplied free to students by the Academy Trust.

Coun Andrea Milner, DMBC's cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "To complete this key milestone in such a short time is a great accomplishment and a real credit to the efforts and dedication of all staff, partners and stakeholders who have helped us get to this stage".

The Academy's Principal, Gill Pollard, added: "This is an exciting time for education in Conisbrough and Denaby Main.

"Our students deserve the best opportunities and my staff and I are committed to this, and to delivering a whole new experience for them."

Sir Paul Edwards, Chief Executive of the School Partnership Trust, added: "This is a tremendous opportunity for families and students of the Conisbrough and Denaby community.

"The School Partnership Trust is excited to be given the opportunity to work with everyone that shares the drive to see De Warenne Academy as one of the best performing schools in the country."

For more information about Academies and the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, log onto

The new academy has its own website at