by Graham Tutthill
Plans to close a Dover school and replace it with an academy are to be discussed by county councillors next week.
Members of the School Organisation Advisory Board will be given details of the proposal to close Archers Court Maths and Computing College at their meeting on October 8.
Project managers have been appointed to oversee a consultation process on the establishment of the new academy, which will take place in the autumn probably in parallel with the county council's consultation on school closure.
The proposal is to create a co-education, five-form entry academy in Dover catering for 750 11- to 16-year-old students and 200 16- to 19-year-old students. The name of the academy will be decided during the feasibility process.
It is proposed that the Aspen 2 Unit, which caters for children with physical and learning difficulties, will remain part of the school and transfer to the academy.
The academy will be sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University as lead sponsor, with Kent County Council, Dover Grammar School for Boys and Dover Grammar School for Girls as co-sponsors.
Proposals have already been put forward to move the two grammar schools onto a single site at Whitfield.
Councillors are being told that collectively, the sponsors and partners are able to draw on "extensive skills and expertise" in the fields of education, research, business and organisational leadership.
It is proposed the academy will open in September 2010 in existing buildings with the aim of moving into new buildings in September 2013.
Martyn Doole, area children's services officer, said: "The sponsors' ambition for the academy is for it to be a learning community at the heart of Dover, bringing together education and children’s services, which places students and their families at the centre of everything that the academy does."