PARENTS will have their say on plans for new high schools.
Kirklees Council’s cabinet yesterday supported proposals for education in Batley.
The plan involves closing Batley Girls’ High School and developing two single-sex schools at Batley Business and Enterprise College – which is currently a boys-only school.
The two single-sex schools would have a combined total of 1,350 pupils and would share some facilities.
And a new co-educational school for 1,350 children would be built on the Batley Girls’ High site at Howden Clough.
Parents, teachers and governors will be consulted on the plan between June 1 and July 10, with a final decision due in September.
Last year the then Conservative cabinet proposed closing Batley Girls’ High School and opening a new co-educational school on the site of the boys-only Batley Business and Enterprise College.
But the new Labour / Lib Dem coalition has come up with a new plan following objections from parents who want to keep single-sex schools.
Concerned father Muhammad Irfan welcomed the change of course at yesterday’s cabinet meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall.
He said: “It’s been a long road for the Muslim community in Batley but it seems that the cabinet has listened to us.”
But Mr Irfan added: “The community in Batley may want a single-sex school but they don’t want a single-race school. I think that’s very important for community cohesion and diversity.”
Kirklees education chief Clr John Smithson explained to the meeting that, if the plan goes ahead, the two single-sex schools would not be entirely separate from each other.
The Almondbury Lib Dem said: “We’re proposing one management team and one governing body. We think that would be helpful, but that’s a matter for consultation.”
The plan for Batley is part of a wider £200m reorganisation of high schools in north Kirklees. A separate £200m plan for Huddersfield and the Valleys will be unveiled later this year.