“Groundbreaking” deal to merge Gleed schools

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SPALDING’S Gleed schools are set to enter into a “groundbreaking” deal to merge and become an academy.

The boys’ and girls’ schools currently operate separately on the same site at the bottom of Neville Avenue and Halmer Gardens but plans revealed last week show that they could become one school under a single headteacher by November.

The boys’ school had already shown interest in obtaining academy status but the governing body and county education bosses have drawn up a move to unite the schools as one big academy to cater for the combined 1,500 pupils.

Boys’ headteacher Geoff Cowley said: “This really is groundbreaking news with the two schools merging together into one.

“We are in one building so it just makes sense – we are joining together because we believe it is right.”

The news marks a positive step for the two schools after losing out on cash needed to revamp the buildings when the government axed the Building Schools for the Future fund.

Mr Cowley said the schools are now at the front of the queue when it comes to funding to rebuild their outdated facilities.

He said: “We are the top priority within Lincolnshire for when capital funding comes into the county. As soon as the Government begins to release captial expenditure we expect to receive it.”

The headteachers say that the plan would still see single sex classes taught at the site so that the school’s separate identities will be maintained.

However, there would be some mixed gender learning for older pupils who take part in smaller option classes as part of their GCSEs.

The schools hope to be able to offer a bigger variety of such classes if they pool resources and have a bigger number of students and staff to fill places.

Girls’ headteacher Janet Daniels said: “The brilliance of this proposal is that we feel there is chance to keep the traditions of the two Gleed schools.

“People in Spalding are very proud to say they are a Gleed girl or a Gleed boy and we want to keep that but also add something very new and exciting.”

Parents, pupils and staff will now be asked to take part in a consultation on the plans which, because of the half term holiday this week, will formally begin on June 6.

If agreed, the school will then become an academy on November 1.