Monday, September 22, 2014

News: Morthyng in bid for Rotherham free school

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Morthyng Group Limited, a leading Rotherham-based training provider, has put its name to a new free school hoping to open in Rotherham.

A registered charity, Morthyng is a "not for profit" organisation that supports the training of young people and adults. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, the enterprise now operates from six locations in South Yorkshire and further sites in the Midlands and North and specialises in vocational and non-vocational training.

Encouraged by the coalition government, free schools are new independent state schools. Charities, groups of teachers, existing schools and parents can set up these new schools if they can prove that they are needed and wanted by a local community. They are funded by the taxpayer but not controlled by a local authority.

The Morthyng South Grove Academy (MSG Academy) has made onto the government's list of proposed free schools hoping to open in 2015 and beyond under wave 7 of the scheme. The list was made public under the Freedom of Information Act. It is classified as an "alternative provision" school for secondary years which means that it will provide education for children of statutory school age who cannot attend mainstream school for various reasons - illness, behaviour, exclusion, teenage parenthood.

Council documents show that a previous application from an unnamed group to set up an Alternative Provision / Pupil Referral Unit in Rotherham was rejected by the Department for Education and that further information from the sponsor was requested.

The client groups that Morthyng currently supports are those who are most disadvantaged in the communities that the company serves. Those who are not in regular attendance in full time statutory learning, those who left school with no qualifications, those who are long term unemployed or faced with mass redundancy.

Morthyng works with those groups that other education and learning organisations can't or don't help. One of the current operations is Morthyng Vocational College, which has sites at Moorgate and on Ship Hill in Rotherham town centre, where young people learn real practical skills and obtain qualifications that will either help them compete in today's jobs market, gain an apprenticeship or, possibly set up in business themselves.

Morthyng's head office is based at Horbury's development at Moorgate, which used to house South Grove School.

Previous plans for free schools in Rotherham include Rotherham Central Free School and Three Valleys Academy. The Three Valleys academy planned to be based in Manvers but was knocked back by the government. The Rotherham Central Free School was abandoned despite being approved by the government. Rotherham Council objected to the applications due to the impact on nearby schools and their budgets. Organisations hoping to open a free school in wave 8 of the programme will have submitted applications last week.

Morthyng website

Images: Morthyng

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