Students who were set to study at a new cutting-edge school in Heanor have been left disappointed at the news that the planhas been ditched.
Derby College had planned to open the ‘Studio School’ in the old South East Derbyshire College building on Mundy Street in September, in time for the new school year.
Following the news that the scheme has been abandoned as the ‘numbers needed for the school to be financially viable were not met’, upset parents, grandparents and students contacted the Ripley & Heanor News to voice their dismay.
Grandmother Sandra Kimbley, from Hallam Fields Road, Ilkeston, spoke of her shock that the school will not go ahead only months before her granddaughter Georgia, 14, was due to attend.
She said: “All of us are absolutely gutted that the school isn’t going ahead any more, especially Georgia and her friends who were all eager to start at studio college.
“The school was a new start for Georgia who was really looking forward to what lay ahead.
“She’s currently studying at the Ormiston Academy in Ilkeston and when we saw the opportunity to make a fresh start elsewhere we were all so excited at the prospect.
“The school looked absolutely brilliant. We’d previously visited and we were very impressed with what they had to offer Georgia and other potential students.
“The teachers were so enthusiastic, they’d even arranged a trip this summer to help the students gel with one another and members of staff.”
Georgia and her family were made aware that the school was not going to be opening its doors early last week when they received the phone call explaining the situation, this was later followed up with a letter.
Despite pupils having been made conditional offers and given the opportunity to pick their subjects for next year, a spokeswoman said that they had been advised throughout to also choose options at their current schools until the DfE had confirmed the project.
Despite their disappointment Sandra stated that they do not blame the school and that they sympathise with those involved in the project.
“We really cannot fault the school to be honest, they were great before the news and they’ve helped following the news.
“Ormiston Academy have been helpful as well, they’ve offered Georgia and others affected the chance to return to the school to complete their GCSEs as well as offering any support they may need.”
Nigel Gell, corporate director at Derby College said: “Following the decision that we are unable to proceed with the siting of the digital studio college in Heanor, we are now investigating the future use of the site in Mundy Street.
“We remain committed to playing a key role in the regeneration of Heanor town centre and will continue to work with the local community, our partners and stakeholders to find a viable use for the site.”
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