Joint Press Release: Cathedral Academy and Enhance Academy Trust 09/03/17

CAPA sixth form has been the specialist performing arts part of Cathedral Academy for the past 10 years. During that time it has gained a regional and national reputation as a centre of excellence in arts education and training including consecutive “outstanding” Ofsted judgements, consistently excellent examination results exceeding national averages, and student destinations to the best arts conservatories, universities and careers in the country and internationally.

CAPA sixth form has been heavily oversubscribed with students attending Cathedral Academy from across the North of England. In September 2015 CAPA, through Enhance Academy Trust, successfully gained approval from the Department of Education to open as a free school. Cathedral Academy made the decision to support the Free School Application on the basis they could no longer accommodate the growing demand for space and places, as well as the increasing difficulties faced with the financial viability of a small post-16 provision. This development would have enabled CAPA College Free School to open in September 2017 and have its own purpose built facility to provide up to 500 students from across the North of England with the outstanding, high quality, specialist arts education and training that CAPA has become renowned for shortly afterwards.

Unfortunately the sites identified that would have enabled a September 2017 opening have not been secured for CAPA College Free School and therefore the planned opening date of September 2017 has had to be deferred. Under current regulations a free school will not be allowed to open in temporary accommodation until a permanent site has been secured.

It is with great sadness therefore that CAPA sixth form and Cathedral Academy will be unable to provide its outstanding provision to a new cohort of students in September 2017. They will however, continue to support the current students studying at CAPA through to the end of their qualifications. We continue to work tirelessly to try to find a solution for CAPA College Free School’s future – focused on finding a permanent site. We hope that the DfE are able to secure a new home very soon and therefore secure the future for CAPA College Free School and the opportunities it brings for the wonderful, talented, artistic and creative young people of the North of England.