31/08/2011 - Permalink

Cabinet to discuss proposals on the future of Wakeman School

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Shropshire Council’s Cabinet is to discuss details of the recent statutory consultation on the proposed closure of Wakeman School and Arts College in Shrewsbury. 

On Wednesday 7 September 2011, Cabinet will consider representations made during the consultation and make the final decision on the future of the school. 

The six-week statutory consultation period of representations follows consultation which has taken place on an unprecedented scale to look at the future of education in the county. This began with the development of a new education vision and school organisation policy as recommended by an Independent Policy Commission, chaired by Neil Kinghan. 

It is recommended that Cabinet, next week, agrees to move to close the Wakeman School and Arts College. 

This meeting follows decisions made in July 2011 to close four of Shropshire’s primary schools as part of the school organisation process.  Barrow, Hopton Wafers and Maesbury primary schools will now close on 31 August 2012.  It was agreed to create a single primary school in Shawbury and further work is taking place with Shawbury Primary School and St Mary’s Primary School to decide on the site of the consolidated school.  

At the same meeting Onny, Lydbury North and Stiperstones primary schools were given the opportunity to federate and were saved from closure at this time. 

Councillor Aggie Caesar-Homden, Cabinet member for schools, said:

“We understand that this is a challenging time for pupils, parents, staff and the wider school community affected by the proposals. 

“We, as a Cabinet, have another very difficult decision to make.  However, we have not arrived at this stage without careful consideration of all the issues and options – consultation has taken place on an extensive scale. 

“We have worked alongside schools and their communities for more than a year to look at the challenges facing our schools and ways to address these. 

“From the beginning schools, parents, governors, pupils, the diocese, town and parish councils and wider communities have been invited to bring forward their own solutions. This has continued throughout the process with people being urged to come up with viable, long term alternatives to the proposals, which still ensure we can provide excellent education for all our children. 

“Where this has happened we have listened and this can be seen at the previous Cabinet meeting, where we decided to allow Onny, Lydbury North and Stiperstones primary schools to proceed with federation arrangements. 

“At Cabinet next week, we will be carefully considering the representations received during statutory consultation and the recommendations of the corporate director of people’s services.” 

The future of Ifton Heath Primary School will also be decided at a further meeting of Cabinet on 28 September 2011.  Cabinet will decide whether to proceed with the proposal to make an all-through school by relocating Ifton Heath Primary School and extending the age range of Rhyn Park School and Performing Arts College to include the primary age range. 

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