PROPOSALS for an Academy in Winsford have taken a step forward, now councillors have officially agreed to close the town’s two secondary schools.

Members of the executive committee, chaired by Clr Mike Jones, voted for the proposal to close Verdin High School and Woodford Lodge High School, on August 31, 2010.

The proposal - which was unanimously carried by council members - was approved on the condition that the Secretary of State would make an agreement for a new Academy.

At the meeting in Winsford Lifestyle Centre, on Friday, July 2, the contribution of teaching staff at both schools was also praised, in addition to the need to focus on the young people in the area.

Before the decision was made, Clr Brenda Dowding stressed the primary consideration would be the welfare of the young people in Winsford.

She said: “The educational standards at present are not what we should expect - we have to take action to make that right.

“We have to do what is in the best interests of the young people in this area.

“I can assure you that it has been the priority and will continue to be.”

A preferred site for the Academy has not yet been chosen, after executive members agreed to work together to consider two of the sites in more detail - these being Verdin High School and the Verdin Exchange campus.

Discussions will now be held with residents to gain further information and address problems of access, which should enable a decision to be made on the preferred site before the deadline of August 31.