16 March 2017

Council leaders are today excited to announce that the new secondary school proposed for south-west Sheffield will be sponsored by one of the city’s most successful academy trusts.

Mercia Learning Trust, the Multi-Academy Trust founded by King Ecgbert school, has an excellent track record locally and will now take on the running of the new secondary school, to be known as Mercia School. The school is poised to open in September 2018 on the Bannerdale site, off Carter Knowle Road.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families at Sheffield City Council, said: “I am delighted to be able to say today that the Mercia Learning Trust is the sponsor for the new secondary school on the Bannerdale site.

“In addition to King Ecgbert, Ofsted Outstanding and highest-attaining amongst Sheffield schools in 2016, Mercia sponsors another neighbouring secondary, Newfield, and local Ofsted Outstanding primary schools, Nether Edge and Totley.

“Sheffield secondaries hit the headlines for their great performance in 2016 and both Mercia schools played their part, outstripping schools nationally on both the new “Progress 8” and “Attainment 8” measures.

“We are also really pleased that King Ecgbert and Newfield have offered additional Year 7 places in 2017, to meet the growing need in advance of the new school opening. This means even more local families will be offered a place at one of their preferred local schools.

“We know that with Mercia’s experienced leadership and the trust’s track record in sponsoring outstanding schools, this new secondary school will be the very best it can be, providing an excellent education for children in the south-west of Sheffield.”

Jayne Ludlam, executive director for children, young people and families at Sheffield City Council, said: “Before joining us in the project, Mercia took time to undertake a detailed review of the building plans and the financial situation, to ensure that the trust was in a position to sign up to sponsoring the new school with absolute confidence.

“The Regional Schools Commissioner was very supportive and has approved the plan on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

“We are now ready to lend whatever support is needed as Mercia start to engage with communities in south-west Sheffield and talk to them further to shape the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lesley Bowes, CEO of Mercia Learning Trust, expressed her delight that the Trust had been selected as sponsor for the new school.

She said: “Mercia has the necessary credibility with the parents and families of the south-west to lead the new school into a confident future. Generations of children have been served very well by the Trust’s founding school King Ecgbert and its Ofsted Outstanding primary schools.

“Mercia School will serve the whole of south-west Sheffield with no defined catchment area. Any child currently in a south-west primary school will have the right to apply for a place.

“The offer of Mercia School will be very different. We intend it to be a traditional school with its culture rooted in exceptionally high behavioural standards and an academic curriculum which celebrates mastery of knowledge.”

A series of public meetings will be held just prior to, and after, the Easter break for parents and children to find out more.

Information about dates and venues will be distributed via the local primary schools.