£9.5m school for Hull FC's old Boulevard ground
A NEW £9.5 million secondary school is to be built on the Boulevard.
The school, which will have 600 pupils, will open in September next year on the site of Hull FC's old ground after getting Government approval this week.
It will be the city's first "free school", meaning it will not be run by the local authority.
Leading educationalist Carol White, who has helped improve standards in schools across East and West Yorkshire for 15 years, is behind the plans.
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"This is an exciting opportunity for parents and children," she said.
"We are really pleased that, by opening in 2013, the school can be part of the city's wider strategy for raising standards in Hull secondary schools.
"It is giving parents a real choice."
Ms White revealed the school will offer the English baccalaureate – a qualification to reward pupils who pass five GCSEs, at grade C or above, including English, maths, one science and one foreign language.
Pupils will also be offered opportunities in technology, art and PE."
Ms White was a secondary school head teacher before becoming head of school improvement in the East Riding and the director of children's services in Calderdale.
She said: "This new school is making a very strong affirmation – which is supported with funding from the Government – that children will have the opportunity to follow the sort of courses and gain the skills and experience to give them the best possible chance to go to sixth form and on to university.
"I have always maintained that every child in Hull is entitled to the most outstanding teaching and there is absolutely no reason why they can't succeed."
Ms White is working on the project with Joan Irving, supply chain director at Arco, and chartered accountant Mike Hawkins, who is a governor at St Mary's College, in north Hull.
A report is due to go before cabinet this month to propose the transfer of the Boulevard land.
Hull City Council is supportive of the school – which will be called the Hull Free School – and has agreed to offer the land for a peppercorn rent. Building work is expected to start in September.
Ms White said: "The intention at the moment is to grow the school year by year.
"The Government have given us £8 million for the new building and additional funding for fixtures and fittings and ICT, so the full amount is about £9.5 million."
The Mail understands the school was given permission after the proposers proved there was a need for the extra places in the west of the city.
Both Kelvin Hall and Sirius Academy are at capacity. More parents are also choosing to send their children to school in Hull rather than look to secure places in the East Riding.
Funding for the school comes after a £400 million investment in Hull's secondary school estate under the Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.
It is the second free school proposal for the city.
The first, which was planned on the St Mary's College site, was blocked by church leaders last July.
The Bishop of Middlesbrough, Terry Drainey, whose Middlesbrough diocese covers Hull, refused to support proposals for the school – which had been named the McAuley College Academy.
It is now hoped staff at St Mary's College will become advisers to the Boulevard school.
Ms White said: "We hope that St Mary's, which is judged as an outstanding school by Ofsted, will be working with us on the Boulevard site to help develop the educational policies."
Pauline Davis, director of regeneration at Hull City Council, said: "The free school on the Boulevard site in west Hull will bring much-needed investment to the area, acting as a catalyst for regeneration.
"This development will complement proposals for major improvement works to properties in and around the Boulevard area."