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Newport grammar school’s £2 million bid is rejected

By Mat Growcott | Newport | News | Published:

A Newport school has been turned down for a £2m Government grant which would have seen it expand its admission area to the whole of Telford.

Gary Hickey with pupils at Haberdashers' Adams

Haberdashers’ Adams has been unsuccessful in its bid, which would have been spent on a new teaching block and an increase of more than 150 pupils at the school.

Bosses at Haberdashers’ Adams are now considering whether to reapply and, if successful, plans could still go ahead for September 2020.

The money would have been spent on the biggest expansion of pupil numbers in the school’s history.

Priority is currently given to boys applying from the Newport area, but under the plans that would have been extended to the whole of Telford.

Gary Hickey, the school’s headmaster, said the money would have helped boys from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Disappointed

“We are extremely disappointed to discover that we have been unsuccessful in our application for £2m from the Selective Schools Expansion Fund (SSEF) to enable us to take an additional 30 pupils per year from September 2020,” he said.

“The fund was created to enable selective schools to increase their intake of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. We feel our bid clearly demonstrated how the additional funds would enable us to do this, as our plans would have allowed us to extend our attendance area to include the whole of Telford and Wrekin – one of the most educationally disadvantaged boroughs in England.

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“We have a proven record of enabling more disadvantaged pupils to gain a place and our well-known work in the field of social mobility has been documented nationally.”

Mr Hickey said the plans could still go ahead in the near future. “The governors and I will now consider the Department of Education’s encouragement to re-apply in the next round of funding, the results of which are due around April,” he said.

“If we were to be successful it is expected that any expansion in numbers or changes to our admissions process could still possibly be implemented for September 2020, though if we were to be successful in round two it would probably not take place until September 2021.”

A consultation was held on the plans last year, and they received no objections.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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