Friday, 6 August 2010

Culverhay School closure

We have asked that the Conservative view be reconsidered, for the following reasons:

Ø The consultation was based on the scenario of closing three schools and reopening two – one in the north and one in the south of the city. This scenario was approved by the majority of respondents (66%). By abandoning this scenario and recommending the closure of one school in the south, the Cabinet has disenfranchised residents who, believing that the outcome of the consultation would be a new, coeducational school at Culverhay (which is what the community has wanted for a long time), did not respond to the consultation in large numbers.

Ø The decision is premature. The availability of ‘Building Schools for the Future’ funding was a significant driver of reorganising secondary provision in Bath. Given that this funding stream is no longer available following the change in Government, the Cabinet has not adequately considered the need to wait until the situation regarding schools legislation and future funding mechanisms is more certain.

Ø The Cabinet has decided that there should be no change to schools in Keynsham, but the option of no change to schools in Bath has not been considered under section 9 of the report. This is inconsistent.

Ø If the primary purpose of the review is to improve educational standards, it is inconsistent to close a school which is rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted but to keep both schools in Keynsham, which have lower Ofsted ratings, open. Furthermore, insufficient consideration has been given to the extra services provided at Culverhay school to pupils and to the community (e.g. leisure centre, extracurricular activities, links with primary schools and Bath Spa University) and to the ‘value added’ to pupils’ educational attainment.

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