The University of Chester's decision to sponsor an academy school is being opposed by local people. A campaign group, Keep Ellesmere Port Schools (Keeps), is fighting plans to replace a specialist performing arts school with the academy, which would also be sponsored by Cheshire County Council and the Church of England. Keeps has accused the university of wanting to use the academy as a source of supply placements for its trainee teachers. But Tim Wheeler, the vice-chancellor, said Chester "does not wish to concentrate" its placements in a few local schools. He told the Crewe Chronicle: "The university enjoys links with more than 90 partner schools, and about 150 PGCE secondary students undertake placements every year."