27/04/2011 - Permalink

Cabinet to discuss proposals on education in Shropshire

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Details of the six week consultation on proposed changes to education in Shropshire and the recommended next steps in the current organisation of schools will be discussed by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 4 May 2011).  Follow today’s meeting on Shropshire Council’s @ShropLive on twitter.

On 15 February 2011 Cabinet agreed to go out to public consultation for six weeks, from 28 February to 8 April 2011, on 10 individual proposals to merge, close and expand the age range of schools in the county.

During this consultation schools, parents, governors, pupils and wider communities have been given the opportunity to come up with viable alternative solutions to the proposals.

This follows consultation which has taken place on an unprecedented scale to develop the vision and primary and secondary school organisation criteria, with further extensive consultation with schools and their communities to review this and come up with solutions which suit each local area.

The Cabinet report recommends to move forward with the proposals to close six of the schools and extend the age range of Buntingsdale Infant School and defer decisions on three proposals.

Lydbury North Primary School and Onny Primary School put forward a proposal to federate and the report recommends that they are given until 21 June 2011 to allow further development of the business plan.  The report also recommends deferring the decision to create an all-through school for Rhyn Park School and Ifton Heath Primary School to examine the proposal and viable and sustainable alternatives further.

The proposal to create a single primary school for Shawbury is amended to recommend that the expanded school uses both sites for a limited period in the first instance.  This is proposed so that a feasibility study could be undertaken to discuss with the local community which is the better site for the school.

The other school proposals will be recommended to move to the statutory consultation stage which will last for a further six weeks starting on 16 May 2011.

Councillor Aggie Caesar-Homden, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said:

“I would like to thank everyone who got involved in the consultation and let us have their thoughts and ideas about the proposals.

“I have attended all of the consultation meetings and before the end of the consultation Cabinet visited all of the schools named in the proposals to listen to what schools and their communities have said in order to feed back to my Cabinet colleagues.”

David Taylor, Corporate Director for People, said:

“All of the consultation responses have been carefully considered and the recommendations reflect that, where alternative viable long term solutions have been put forward, we are keen to investigate these further.

“We have also been working with a wider group of schools and governing bodies to encourage work on federations which were put forward in the proposals and work is currently progressing well.

“This has been a very thorough process and we have listened to views and alternative ideas.  Where appropriate we have amended our proposals to take back to Cabinet.”

For further information and Cabinet reports please visit the website shropshire.gov.uk/educationforshropshire