Academy in talks on threatened school

TALKS are being held to look into whether threatened Marshlands Primary School could become Doncaster’s first academy primary school.

Nearby Trinity Academy, where most pupils at Marshlands go after they finish primary school, has confirmed it is in negotiations over the possible change at the Moorends site.

Trinity is run by the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, which already provides primary education at another of its academies, Bede Academy, in Blyth, Northumberland.

Trinity Academy headteacher Ian Brew said: “We have been approached by Marshlands Primary School and asked to consider linking up.

“This is one of the options being looked into regarding the future of Marshlands.

“We are happy to talk to any local school that needs support and to share the outstanding record we have built at Trinity for the benefit of the whole community. Discussions are on going.”

Parents launched a campaign to save Marshlands after bosses at Doncaster Council drew up proposals to start consultation on closing it at the end of this year.

They plans were due to go before Doncaster Council’s cabinet on Wednesday, but were pulled after new information was given to Mayor Peter Davies.

The council report raised concerns about the number of surplus places at the school, which is currently in special measures. Hundreds of parents have signed a petition calling for the school to remain open.

Campaigner Kendra Bissell, who has children at Marshland and Trinity, said parents would welcome any tie-up with Trinity as an alternative to the school’s closure.

She said: “I think on the whole parents would welcome it.

“I gather Bede Academy in Northumberland already has pupils of a primary school age, and perhaps something similar could happen here.

“If Trinity were able to take over that would mean the school stayed open.

“My experience of Trinity has been that it is an excellent school.

“I think I would definitely keep my fingers crossed that the school can be saved, whether it be through the education authority or through Trinity.”

Mayor Peter Davies has warned that the council will act to reduce the thousands of surplus places which currently exist in schools across the borough.