CONTROVERSIAL plans for a free school in the Dearne Valley have won approval from the Government.
The Three Valleys Independent Academy scheme was moved to the next stage by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
The project involves setting up an 850-place school at the currently unoccupied School of Nursing and Midwifery building at Manvers.
Approval by the Secretary of State, now means that the project leaders can start work on a business plan ahead of their target opening date of September.
The original project leader John Morahan has now stepped away and retired businessman David Mann has now taken up the reins.
The scheme has been widely criticised by Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, who argues that such an academy will divert much-needed funds away from existing Dearne schools.
Meanwhile Mexborough’s Labour councillors, Sue Phillips and David Holland, have also spoken out against the plans.
But the Three Valleys Independent Academy limited company claim the new state-of-the-art school will have a positive impact on the community.