Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Sunday, 6 September 2009 16:28 UK

Controversial new academy opens

A series of protests were held in the town in June

A controversial new school opens its doors in South Cumbria on Monday.

Plans for Furness Academy, which replaces Barrow's Thorncliffe, Parkview and Alfred Barrow secondary schools, proved unpopular with many parents.

The shake-up sparked protests in the town in June, with campaigners claiming it would be disruptive for children.

Principal Douglas Blackledge said it was time for staff, pupils and parents to put aside any concerns and make the school a success.

The academy is based on the former Thorncliffe and Parkview sites, now known as the North and South Campuses.

Year seven pupils begin their academic term on Monday, to be followed throughout the week by other age groups.

The academy is being sponsored by Furness College, the University of Cumbria and Barrow Sixth Form College.

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