Second review launched for under-threat Shrewsbury school

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Staff reporter

EDUCATION chiefs have launched a second consultation at an under-threat school in Shrewbsury.

Shropshire Council is proposing to close Wakeman School and Arts College – along with eight primary schools across the county – in a bid to tackle surplus places.

Axing the Abbey Foregate school will save £376,440 per year and enable the council to provide more funding per pupil for other schools in the area.

The six-week consultation comes after confusion in the original consultation notice about the language used.

David Taylor, director of people’s services at Shropshire Council, said: “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.”

Mr Taylor said it was a “difficult time for everyone involved” but insisted the process will be transparent.

He added: “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 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.”

The consultation period runs until August 12 during which time people are invited to submit statements in favour or opposition of the proposal.

The final decision will not be taken at cabinet on July 20 as planned but on September 7 when details of the representations received, including those already submitted in response to the earlier notice, will be outlined.

The school will close in August 2013 if members back the proposal.

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