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Anger as six Shropshire schools remain under threat of closure

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Headteachers, school governors and parents today voiced their anger at proposals to push ahead with plans to close schools in Shropshire - despite months of hard fought campaigns and demonstrations.

Headteachers, school governors and parents today voiced their anger at proposals to push ahead with plans to close schools in Shropshire - despite months of hard fought campaigns and demonstrations.

A final decision is now one week away with cabinet members due to vote on the fate of hundreds of county schoolchildren next Wednesday. Six schools remain at risk of closure, while talks will continue regarding the fate of three other primaries.

They could yet be saved by becoming "all through" schools or federations.

Karen Moore, headteacher at the Wakeman, the only secondary school facing closure, said council chiefs had missed an opportunity to save the school.

The school was today deemed to be "good with outstanding features" in its latest Ofsted report.

Andy Rayment, chairman of governors, said: "The authority's proposal to go ahead with these plans in view of the Ofsted report is even more ludicrous.

"How can we face telling pupils that the school they feel so passionately about remains up for closure?"

Simon Pennington, school parent, governor and lead campaigner at Barrow Primary School, said they would appeal against the plans to close the school.

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He said: "They have been looking to close the school for about four years. This was a done deal a long time ago but they have to be seen to tick boxes."

Faye Moore, lead member of the Stiperstones School steering committee, said the community had been left "absolutely gutted" with today's council report.

She said: "We have all worked so hard to save the school. The council is not looking at the bigger picture and the effect this will have on the community.

"The standard of eduction here is very high and proven by the Ofsted report. I just can't understand the decision."

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Sian Hawes, headteacher at Hopton Wafers Primary School, near Cleobury Mortimer, said parents, staff and governors would now meet to discuss how to move forward in the light of continuing plans to close the site.

Meanwhile Sharon Ricci, parent at St Mary's Primary School, Shawbury, said she was pleased more discussion would be held on the proposal of where to site a combined school with Shawbury Primary.

She said if plans went ahead a permanent head should be placed in charge at the earliest opportunity to provide "security" and "stability" for both pupils and parents.

By Sam Pinnington

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