Schools adjudicator supports council’s decision to close Wakeman School and Arts College
Schools adjudicator, Canon Richard Lindley, has today (Monday 28 November 2011) announced his support for Shropshire Council’s decision to close the Wakeman School and Arts College in Shrewsbury, after considering representations from the school, diocese and council.
Canon Lindley’s report published today says:
“I can assure the diocese, Wakeman and other objectors that all the points they have raised have been taken into my reckoning. I am determining that Wakeman should close as the council has proposed.”
David Taylor, Shropshire Council’s Corporate Director of People’s Services, said:
“Today’s announcement reflects that the decision to close the Wakeman School and Arts College, while extremely difficult to make, is the right decision for the future of education in Shropshire.
“We have worked closely with the schools adjudicator to provide all the information required to show how and why this decision has been made. We have been as open as possible to work to resolve this, and to minimise the uncertainty parents and pupils have faced.
“The adjudicator has recognised that there is no viable, long term alternative to the proposal despite extensive work to find another solution, and that the decision has been taken in the best interests of all pupils in the county.
“This has been an extensive and thorough process working alongside pupils, parents, staff, governors and wider communities, the diocese and town and parish councils, for more than a year. We want to provide excellent education for all our children, for years to come, and ensure that money is spent where it can have the greatest impact on improving children’s achievements.
“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone affected and will continue to work closely with the school, pupils, parents and the wider community to support them at every step.”
In his report Canon Lindley said:
“…it is right that scarce resources should be directed by each local authority in such a way as to maximise the quality of provision for all the children of Shrewsbury and of Shropshire”, adding “…it is in the overall interests of secondary education in Shrewsbury that Wakeman should close”.
Wakeman School and Arts College will close in August 2013. Year 11 pupils will leave in the normal course of education in July 2012 and year 10 pupils will remain in the school until July 2013, when they will leave having completed their GCSE year. Year nine will transfer to other schools in September 2012, where they will be able to follow their two-year GCSE courses without interruption and years seven and eight will transfer to other schools in September 2013.