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Multimillion pound plans to transform Crosby high schools

MULTI-MILLION pound plans to transform every high school in Crosby last night took a major step forward.

The government approved an £80m first wave of cash that will see Chesterfield and Crosby High merged into a 21st century state-of-the-art ‘superschool’.

And the area’s three other secondary schools and one specialist school are set to be extensively refurbished or completely rebuilt following Sefton Council’s admission into the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Proposals approved by Whitehall chiefs this week paved the way for the creation of a new £25m learning hub based at Chesterfield High.

Most of the current school would be demolished and rebuilt to incorporate Crosby High, which would then be closed and potentially sold off.

Last night, headteachers of both schools led the celebrations.

Chesterfield High head teacher, Simon Penney, said: "We are delighted to have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to realise our vision for the future.

"This is to provide a 21st century beacon learning environment that ensures that each individual in our community fulfils their potential through learning opportunities that are continuous, relevant and adaptable.

"We will use the latest technologies to provide challenge, pace and rigour for pupils and staff within the values of fairness, respect and care."

Steve Dempsey, head teacher of Crosby High School said the merger would provide pupils with resources "currently unavailable on our present site".

He said: "I am genuinely excited by the prospect of working with parents, pupils, staff and governors to create a safe and stimulating learning environment that matches our ambition and aspirations for the future."

Crosby’s other high schools are ringmarked for funding in future waves of cash.

Under the council’s schools strategy, Sacred Heart would undergo a £20m renovation while Newfield, St Michael’s CE and Holy Family would all be extensively remodelled.

Every overhauled school would feature ‘dual-use’ facilities, such as sports hall, libraries and ICT resources, open to the public outside of term-time hours.

Cllr Peter Dowd, cabinet member for education, said: "The Building Schools for the Future programme offers a great opportunity to reposition our schools at the heart of communities across Sefton.

"This announcement means that we can truly transform our schools to ensure that our 11-19 year-olds have impressive modern and inspirational places to learn and thrive."

Following inclusion into the programme – alongside nine other authorities – Sefton will now draw up detailed plans and move to formal consultation, likely to begin early next year.