Applications for a long-awaited new high school in Radcliffe have exceeded place numbers as enrolment begins.

Star Radcliffe Academy, which will open in September this year, has received 164 applications from Bury residents.

The new high school will offer 150 places for year 7 pupils ahead of the next academic year and eventually hold 750 places for pupils from years 7 to 11.

It will be run by Star Academies, a multi-academy trust which oversees 36 other schools around the country, including Eden Boys’ School in Bolton and Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School.

Bury Times: Star Academy Radcliffe opens in September 2024Star Academy Radcliffe opens in September 2024 (Image: Bury Council)

The council, working with Star Academies and the Department for Education (DfE), will install modular, temporary classrooms ahead of the construction of the modern, permanent facilities.

The permanent building will be on the same site, ready for pupils in autumn 2025. Works to prepare the site are underway and construction is due to begin in March.

Radcliffe did not have a local secondary school for over a decade, following the closure of Radcliffe Riverside High School in 2014. The council said this engagement from the community is a positive sign for the future of the new school.

Bury Times: The school will eventually offer places for 750 pupilsThe school will eventually offer places for 750 pupils (Image: Bury Council)

Cllr Lucy Smith, cabinet member for children and young people, said “It is great news that next September Radcliffe children can once again go to school in Radcliffe.

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"We have campaigned for many years for a high school for Radcliffe and I am pleased to see this delivered alongside our ongoing regeneration work in the town."

Paul Johnson, principal of Star Radcliffe Academy, said “While there is a clear need for a new secondary school in Radcliffe, it is extremely pleasing that so many local families have applied for a place for their child at Star Radcliffe Academy.

Bury Times: There has been no high school in Radcliffe for around a decadeThere has been no high school in Radcliffe for around a decade (Image: Bury Council)

"We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of Year 7 pupils in September, and to working in partnership with the local community to deliver the best possible opportunities and outcomes for the young people of Radcliffe.”

In addition to Star Academy Radcliffe, the council has confirmed that 92 per cent of pupils received a place at their first or second choice of school as the outcome of secondary school applications for the 2024/2025 academic year are revealed today, Friday.

This year, the council received 2,359 applications from residents with 83.3 per cent of pupils receiving a place at their first choice of school.

This compares to 2,453 application for pupils submitted in 2023 when 85.2 per cent received a place at their first choice.