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Parent power will help decide if new school goes ahead

Parent power will help decide whether the new creative arts primary school proposal for York goes ahead.

Ebor Academy Trust, the teacher-led charitable organisation behind the Creative Arts Academy York, are finalising their bid to central government to fund the project. But with only days left before the 2 March deadline, there is an urgent need for parents of three-year-olds to go online to register their interest in booking a school place.

While over 100 have signalled they would seriously consider the new school as an option, at www.creativeartsacademyyork.org, the target is 180 registrations.

“There has been a magnificent response to details of our plans, which were only launched mid-January,” said Richard Ludlow, Ebor’s chief executive. “However, the Department for Education requires evidence of demand, which means parents of children due to start in Reception in 2017, from across the city, need to register on our website if they support what we are trying to do.

“Registering online isn’t a formal application for a place but it does allow us to demonstrate that this is a provision people will support.”

The new school pledges an excellent general education, based on existing Ofsted graded ‘Outstanding’ models used elsewhere in the group of schools. However by putting the creative arts at the centre of the curriculum, they say, confidence, concentration, critical thinking and verbal skills are improved.

For older children, the school day will be extended to incorporate specialist teaching in visual and performing arts and technology.

Every child will attend a performance every term and every child will take part in a performance every term.

There will also be a specialist inclusive provision for children with special needs.

“This is a whole new concept,” said Mr Ludlow. “It’s not just a local school, but a school for the whole of York. We’re not competing with any existing schools however its existence means we can ease primary place planning pressures in some areas.”

Ebor has called on City of York Council to support the bid, just as it supported the successful UNESCO City of Media Arts application, which made York the only city in the UK to receive the prestigious designation.

The former Park & Ride site at Askham Bar has been identified as a possible location for the new school, but Ebor accepts that other sites may be considered should the education plans get the go-ahead.

“We want to offer parents a choice,” said Mr Ludlow. “This is a rare opportunity we should take advantage of, to create something really special for York and have it funded by central government, sparing the already stretched local authority funding.”

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