Preferred bidders announced for two new schools for Leeds

Senior councillors in Leeds have agreed their
preferred bidders to run two new primary schools for the city, which were
announced earlier this year.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board yesterday
(17 October), members approved the Co-operative Trust as the preferred bidder
for a new school at Florence Street in Harehills and The Learning Trust for
South Leeds as the preferred bidder for a new school on land at the former
South Leeds Sports Centre.

The proposals are part of a city-wide programme which
is necessary to meet the increased demand for primary-age places caused by
a rising birth rate and an increase in the number of families moving into
certain areas of the city. Through this programme the council has already delivered
705 new reception places since 2009.

The new schools would be a 420 place primary school
with a 26 place nursery on land at Florence
Street in Harehills to open in September 2013 and
a 420 place primary school and 26 place nursery on land at the former South Leeds sports centre site to open in 2014.

Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“These new
schools will address the pressures on the city to provide more primary school places.
I am pleased we are able to move on to the next stage of the process to create
these much needed schools.”

Earlier this year the executive board agreed to start
the competition process and invited bids from organisations which wanted to run
the new schools. This invitation to bid resulted in six bids for Harehills
from: Academies Enterprise Trust; The Co-Operative Trust; Lilac Sky Schools;
LEAF Academy Trust; Leeds Muslim College and; Rainbow Schools. The south Leeds
invitation to bid, resulted in four bids: Academies Enterprise Trust; Lilac Sky
Schools; Rainbow Schools; and the Learning Trust South Leeds. Lilac Sky Schools
subsequently withdrew from both competitions.

In July and August members of the public were invited
to express their views on the bidders’ proposals. Six written responses were
received for Harehills and 114 for south Leeds.

Each bidder was asked to demonstrate core requirements
as well as a number of local considerations, which were also included which
emerged from the initial consultations. The bidders were required to


How the
buildings and play area would be made available for community use;

How they would
include single sex changing facilities for community use;

How the school
would offer local employment opportunities; and

How the school
would serve the local community through its admissions policy.

South Leeds

How the site
could also provide sports usage;

How the school
would facilitate ongoing community access to the sports pitches; and

How it would
serve the local community through its admissions policy.

All bidders for the Harehills school noted the desire
of the local community to be involved with school through employment, use of
extended services, use of facilities and external play areas. All suggested
they were willing to consult on how this could be delivered.

All bidders for the south Leeds school indicated
their willingness to work with the council on delivering sports provision on
the site, although none offered financial contributions towards such provision.

The School Organisation Advisory Board was set up by
the council to consider the proposals in detail and make recommendations to the
executive board. The SOAB recommended the Co-operative as the preferred bidder
for Harehills and The Learning Trust South Leeds as the preferred bidder for
south Leeds.

In deciding upon the recommendations the SOAB looked
at the bidders’ local experience and knowledge, evidence of partnership working
in the localities, their accountability, ethos and governance, their experience
in providing primary education as well as their management, partnerships and
infrastructure capacity to support the new schools.


For media enquiries,
please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds
City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713