£7.5m for town’s newest academy

NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college
NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college

BENNERLEY School’s transition to an academy has been given the official seal of approval this week – and the chair of governors said it may have saved the school.

The Cotmanhay school’s sponsor Ormiston announced this week that the Government has signed off a massive £7.5m for the school as part of the deal.

And chair of governors Cllr Brian Lucas said the move, which will see the refurbishment of its 150-year-old buildings, could have saved the school.

He said: “This will be the turning of the tide for Bennerley’s security.

“Two years ago there was a question mark hanging over the life of Bennerley as it was deemed a low number school.

“I feel very certain it will attract more students to the educational complex, which we will be heading towards.”

The Derbyshire county councillor for Cotmanhay admitted he was ‘disappointed’ that the school would no longer be under the authority’s control, but said he felt this was the best way forward to safeguard the school.

The school’s new name will be Ormiston Enterprise Academy and it will officially become an academy in September.

An Ormiston spokesman said that an additional ‘several thousands of pounds’ will also be spent on refurbishment of the school hall and reception over the summer holidays before the £7.5m is released later in the year.

Students, staff and the community were consulted on the academy’s new name, and the school is now working with students to name three school buildings.

Ormiston managing director Joyce Hodgetts said “It’s great to have had involvement from staff, students and the community for the academy’s name.

“There are a lot of enterprising minds at the proposed Ormiston Enterprise Academy and we are looking forward to working closely with everyone on this project as it progresses.”