Last ditch attempt fails in bid to save school from closure

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A PRIMARY school near Shrewsbury is set to close.

Shropshire councillors voted to close Shawbury Primary School in August 2012 to create a single school for the village with St Mary’s Primary School.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on July 20 despite last-ditch efforts from protesters outside Shire Hall.

It follows a month-long consultation period with staff, parents and governors.

Councillor Aggie Caesar-Homden, cabinet member for schools at Shropshire Council, said: “We appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone affected by the decision to close a school.

“These decisions have not been taken lightly, however they have been made in the best interests of all pupils in Shropshire.

“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 – and we have only taken the decision to close schools where all other options have been exhausted.

“We will continue to work closely with these schools, parents, pupils and their wider communities over the next 12 months to support them in ensuring there is as little disruption as possible.”

The cabinet agreed not to close Stiperstones Primary School, near Shrewsbury, but will explore plans to form a federation with Chirbury Primary School, which would see the two share facilities.

Cllr Caesar-Homden thanked the efforts of Stiperstones Primary School which had worked hard to come forward with business plans for federation.

She added: “From the beginning, schools and their communities have been invited to bring forward their own solutions and this is what they have done.

“We will continue to monitor the progression of these plans and provide assistance where needed.”

Meanwhile, the public notice relating to Wakeman School and Arts College, Shrewsbury, has been re-published, initiating another six-week statutory consultation period until August 12.

People are invited to submit representations in favour of or opposing the proposal to close this school.

The results will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on September 7.

See full story in the Leader

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