PLANS to close Fartown High School and replace it with a new school received a mixed reception from parents.
Kirklees Council plans to build a £20m school next to All Saints Catholic College in Bradley as part of its Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
The first of a series of consultations with parents was held at Christ Church Woodhouse Junior and Infant school in Deighton.
The consultation enables families involved with feeder schools to Fartown and the community to find out more about the project and pose questions to council officials.
A small gathering of parents were told about the plan, which would replace the school with a brand new 1,200-place secondary school for pupils from Birkby, Bradley, Deighton, Fartown, Fixby and Sheepridge.
The move would see Fartown High School close in August next year.
The new school would initially be established at the Fartown premises in September 2011 before its move to a new building when built and ready for opening in September 2013.
The new school would be run by a private bidder.
The school would be on the same extended campus as All Saints, which would share the new indoor and outdoor facilities including sporting and community provision.
Parents were told at the meeting that the school presented an ‘exciting opportunity’ for children and young people already in the local school system.
They heard how the existing school has failed to reach the government’s expectation of GCSE results.
The solution, they heard, was to build a new school offering modern facilities to give students better opportunities.
But some parents said they were concerned that the school was moving out of the area.
Marie Williams, from Deighton, whose nine-year-old daughter Kayleigh attends Christ Church Woodhouse, said: “I don’t understand why they are shutting the school.
“It’s easy access for a lot of the kids from Fartown and Deighton. I wanted my daughter to be able to walk to school by herself, but it will be a bit far when it moves.
“As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing wrong with Fartown. It seems a waste to be spending so much money on a new school which I can’t see offering too many more opportunities than what they’ve got now.”
Mum-of-three Myrlyn Cox said that while a change is good, some kinks would need to be ironed out before the school opens its doors.
She said: “My son went to Fartown and did brilliantly and I want my two daughters to go there.
“I think a new school is a really good idea, it’s promoting change and getting different pupils from different areas together.
“My main concern is that with another high school next door there’s going to be problems with rivalry between the two.
“I think bringing in more facilities would be better for the kids, but there are few wrinkles that need addressing first.”