30/06/2011 - Permalink

Further consultation on proposal to close Wakeman School in Shrewsbury

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Statement from David Taylor, Director of People’s Services

Shropshire Council has worked alongside schools, their communities, the diocese and partners for more than a year to look at the future of education in the county.

Throughout this time, there has been an open, ongoing discussion about the issues facing our schools, how these can be addressed and the development of the proposals to change the organisation of schools. We have encouraged people to share their views and ideas and challenge us on every aspect of the process.

As part of this commitment to clarity and listening to all the points raised, we will be re-publishing the public notice relating to Wakeman School and Arts College in Shrewsbury, which will initiate another six-week statutory consultation period on the proposal to close this school.

We are repeating the statutory consultation process for this school after it was raised during consultation that some of the dates and terms in the notice as to when any plans could be implemented from, and when the school would close, could be considered ambiguous.

While the language used in notices follows a prescribed format as outlined by the Department for Education, it is our duty to be clear and do everything we can to ensure people understand the proposals. We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone involved and want to ensure that every aspect of the process is completely transparent and correct.

Entering into another statutory consultation will not affect the long term proposed timescales. It will however ensure that Cabinet, in making the decision, can be certain that every aspect of the process has been as clear as possible.

The decision on the proposal to close Wakeman School and Arts College will therefore not be taken at Cabinet on 20 July but will be decided at a Cabinet meeting on 7 September 2011.

The further statutory consultation period on the proposal to close Wakeman School and Arts College runs from 1 July until 12 August 2011. During this time people are invited to submit statements in favour of, or opposing the proposal. Details of all of the representations received, including those already submitted in response to the earlier notice, will be outlined in the report for the Cabinet meeting on 7 September.

If the proposal was agreed by Cabinet at this meeting, this would not affect the proposed dates when Wakeman School and Arts College would close, which would be at the end of the school year in August 2013.

This does not affect any of the other proposals and timescales in respect to the other schools.