THE CHARITY taking over a Cotmanhay secondary school has announced it will provide its newly designed school uniforms to all pupils free of charge.
At a meeting on Monday with Ormiston Trust, which will run Bennerley School as an academy, well over 100 parents, staff and pupils were told the uniforms – designed in part by students – could be picked up for free during the summer holidays.
New principal Eddie de Middelaer also told parents that there may be plans to bring a sixth form to the school, which will be renamed Ormiston Enterprise Academy from September.
Mr de Middelaer said: “I am really excited about being here. This isn’t my school or my academy, it’s not the staff’s, not the kids’, it’s ours.”
Ormiston could not give concrete guarantees that current teachers would not be made redundant, but said they should know by the half term holidays.
The trust’s managing director Joyce Hodgett said: “It’s very stressful for staff but we have a very complicated process to go through.”
Ormiston announced last month that the Government had signed off £7.5m to improve the school’s 150-year-old buildings. Ms Hodgett said that work should begin within six to nine months from September when the school will be given a ‘facelift’.
A total of £150,000 has been released for work over the summer, including replacing signage.
The new uniform – including ties with velcro fasteners, black blazers and black trousers – will be given out free ‘over a couple of days’ in August.
Ms Hodgett said in the future they will be available from shops ‘like the local Asda or Tesco’. White shirts and blouses will have to be bought separately.
Meanwhile, Ormiston said it is still at ‘a very early stage’ with plans to convert Ilkeston School to an academy.