Schools’ cash to be used for new block

NILA 02-10-12 BE 14 The Ormiston ilkeston school, academy.
NILA 02-10-12 BE 14 The Ormiston ilkeston school, academy.

After the dust has settled on the bombshell announcement to merge two Ilkeston schools, Ormiston has told the Advertiser more about its plans.

As part of the agreement to convert the former Bennerley School into an academy, Ormiston won £7.4m of Government cash to spend on the Cotmanhay school site.

But now the school is to be closed and its pupils moved to the former Ilkeston School, the cash will be spent there on a brand new building, including lecture theatre, classrooms and science labs as well as refurbishment of the old buildings.

Speaking this week, Mike Gibbons, senior advisor to Ormiston’s chief executive, explained that staff have been divided into teams specifically to make sure the merger runs smoothly.

“Our primary interest in this merger is ensuring we get the best possible deal for students and their mums and dads,” he said, “So there’s no uncertainty and no rumours.”

The merged school will have a new name, picked by students, and a new uniform will be given to every student free of charge.

There will be no new year seven pupils at the Enterprise Academy this September, instead they will go to Ilkeston, before the Cotmanhay site closes for good the following year.

Mr Gibbons added that there will also be a team to focus on both schools’ damning GCSE results which placed them in the bottom five in Derbyshire this year.

“We expect both schools to have spectacularly better examination results next year.”

Staff have been offered voluntary redundancy but he said the package they have been offered is more generous than would ordinarily have been put on the table.

Principal Tracey Dundas, has arranged meetings with parents to keep them updated.

She said activities involving both schools have been planned in a bid to tackle parents’ and students’ concerns about bullying because of the rivalry between the two schools.