Advertising

Hammer blow of Shropshire schools cuts

Oswestry | News | Published:

A sledgehammer blow was today delivered to a number of schools across Shropshire after the latest proposals to overhaul the county's education system were released. A sledgehammer blow was today delivered to a number of schools across Shropshire after the latest proposals to overhaul the county's education system were released. Six schools, including a Shrewsbury secondary school, still face the axe under new plans unveiled today by Shropshire Council. Shirehall chiefs said they had "listened carefully" to all views expressed in the tense six-week public consultation period involving protests, demonstrations, marches and petitions. But a "triple whammy" of falling class numbers, reducing educations grants and the economic downturn will force through the austerity cuts. Full story in today's Shropshire Star

A sledgehammer blow was today delivered to a number of schools across Shropshire after the latest proposals to overhaul the county's education system were released.

Six schools, including a Shrewsbury secondary school, still face the axe under new plans unveiled today by Shropshire Council.

Shirehall chiefs said they had "listened carefully" to all views expressed in the tense six-week public consultation period involving protests, demonstrations, marches and petitions.

But a "triple whammy" of falling class numbers, reducing educations grants and the economic downturn will force through the austerity cuts.

The Wakeman secondary school in Shrewsbury remains on the chopping board and faces closure at the end of the academic year in July 2013, with pupils transferring to Meole Brace School.

A total of four other primary schools are also recommended for closure with one amalgamation, resulting in the closure of another primary school.

While the decision to close Onny (Onibury) and Lydbury North Primary Schools has been deferred to investigate the schools becoming a federation.

The proposed "all through" school at Rhyn Park, St Martin's near Oswestry, has also been halted until July to allow more time to "work through detail".

Advertising

A report detailing the plans will be presented to the Shropshire Council cabinet next Wednesday.

David Taylor, director of children and young peoples services at Shropshire Council, said: "We have the issues of falling roles in schools and a reducing education grant.

"We are left with a bad settlement compared to other areas and times are also getting very tough for education."

Officials at the council claim the authority has lost £10 million in grant funding over the last five years because of falling numbers.

Advertising

In January last year there were 36,888 pupils registered in Shropshire primary and secondary schools, which is 2,560 less than in 2005.

Numbers are forecast to drop to 34,860 by 2014.

Mr Taylor added: "We have come back with the proposals, some are the same and some are revised. We have put a lot of time and work into listening carefully and we have adapted the proposals as a result.

"This is not a sign that we have failed but that we have listened, engaged and looked at different ways of doing things.

"We have shown flexibility within a clear set of proposals."

The proposals

  • To create a single school in Shawbury by combining Shawbury Primary School and St Mary's School. The primary school will close and the combined school will operate from both sites, with the favoured site for the school determined at a later date.
  • Close Wakeman School & Arts College, Shrewsbury.
  • Close Hopton Wafers, in Cleobury Mortimer, Maesbury County Primary School, near Oswestry, Barrow Primary School, near Much Wenlock and Stiperstones School, near Shrewsbury.
  • Defer decision on closing Onny (Onibury) and Lydbury North Primary Schools to investigate proposal of schools becoming a federation.
  • Defer proposals until July cabinet to work on detail to create an "all through" school at Rhyn Park, St Martin's near Oswestry, for pupils aged three to 16.
  • Extend Buntingsdale Infant School, near Market Drayton into a full primary.

By Sam Pinnington

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top stories

Advertising

More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News