The Department for Education (DfE) has given its approval for the establishment of a new secondary school in Liverpool. As part of its initiative to improve education outcomes in areas with the weakest performance, the DfE has announced the opening of 15 new free schools across the country, with Liverpool being chosen as one of the locations.
The newly established school, named Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy, will be operated by Star Academies, a not-for-profit multi-academy trust that manages schools nationwide. This will be Liverpool’s first Muslim faith-designated school, providing 800 spaces for girls aged between 11 and 18. It is important to note that although it is a faith-designated school, it will not have a faith-based admissions policy. Instead, the school will have a community-based admissions policy, welcoming children of all faiths and none.
In its inaugural year, the school will admit 120 pupils in Year 7, with subsequent intakes of Year 7 pupils each academic year. The sixth form of Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy will have a capacity of 200 places. The school aims to offer a balanced academic curriculum along with a diverse leadership program that encourages students to engage in charitable activities and social action.
The exact location for the new school has yet to be determined. Free schools, unlike traditional schools, are funded by the government but are not under the management of the local authority. Instead, they are operated by various organizations such as academy trusts, businesses, and universities.
Sir Hamid Patel CBE, the chief executive of Star Academies, expressed his delight at the approval, emphasizing the importance of providing a high-quality education to all children, regardless of their background. Cllr Lila Bennett, Liverpool Council Cabinet Member for Employment, Educational Attainment, and Skills, welcomed the decision, stating that it would help meet the city’s future demand for school places. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan also praised the initiative, highlighting the government’s commitment to expanding educational opportunities.
The establishment of Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy will contribute to unlocking the potential of young people in Merseyside, providing them with a quality education and opportunities for personal growth. The local council will collaborate with stakeholders to identify a suitable site for the school.