PARENTS and pupils are to be given a say on plans to merge two Clacton secondary schools into an academy.

The plans would see Bishops Park College and Colbayns High School merge in September, under the management of the Academies Enterprise Trust.

Public views on the merger are being sought from Monday, under a fortnight-long consultation process.

Education officials hope the plan will raise standards at both schools – Bishops Park was judged to be failing and put into special measures in October 2007.

Nick Pavitt, the schools’ joint headteacher, said: “Both are making strong improvement and have thoroughly enjoyed working together for the benefit of the students.

“The new academy will give us a huge boost and should ensure the raised standards and improvements are secured for the future.”

The proposals are backed by the county council. After the consultation, the plan will go to the Department for Children, Schools and Families and if approved, will come into force on September 1.

Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield said the benefits of the academies approach were already evident in Hockley and Witham, where similar plans have been implemented.

He added: “I am confident if these proposals go ahead, we will be delivering the very best secondary education possible to the young people of West Clacton.”

Public consultation evenings for parents will be held at Bishops Park College on Monday, and at Colbayns High School on Tuesday, in each case from 7.30pm onwards.