COUNCILLORS will decide next week who will run a new school in Huddersfield.
Four organisations applied to Kirklees Council for the right to set up the school in the buildings currently used by Fartown High School.
The new co-educational school will serve 1,200 pupils from Birkby, Bradley, Deighton, Fartown, Fixby, Hillhouse and Sheepridge when it opens in September.
Kirklees initially received bids to run the school from Holmfirth High, the Wakefield Diocese of the Church of England; Essex-based Lilac Sky and London company E-ACT.
But the Department of Education wrote to the council on January 31 saying secretary of state Michael Gove would not be willing to fund a Lilac Sky-run school.
The move means Kirklees will choose from the remaining three bids next week.
The council’s Labour Cabinet will decide between Holmfirth High, E-Act and Wakefield Diocese at its meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall at 4pm on Tuesday.
Fartown Parents Action Group will present a 2,000-name petition to the meeting calling for Holmfirth High to win the bid.
Holmfirth’s head teacher Andrew Williams has been running Fartown High for the last year.
Action group chairman Azher Latif said: “Since he took over the results have improved drastically and we believe that climb can be sustained in coming years.”
Mr Latif added that Holmfirth High was the only applicant which didn’t want to set up an academy school.
He said: “We think there must be some role for parents and we believe if the school went to an academy it would shut doors.
“Holmfirth High is the only bidder who would open doors.”
The council’s assistant director for learning John Edwards said: “We are delighted to have received three such excellent bids to run the new school.
“Each one offers different strengths and we can be confident that, whatever the decision, parents and pupils across north Huddersfield will have a very good local school.”
The school wants to set up a trust rather than an academy in Fartown, meaning the new school would have closer links to Kirklees Council. Holmfirth High wants to establish a partnership with Cummins Turbo Technologies, the University of the First Age; the Parents of Black Children Association and Kirklees Active Leisure.
The Wakefield Diocese of the Church of England
The church wants to establish an academy on the Fartown site. The new school would have a chaplain and the principal would be a practising Christian.
The London-based company wants to run a non-selective academy. E-ACT already runs eight schools, including Parkwood Academy in Sheffield.