Freshwater primary school closure plan on hold amid legal challenge

Aug 7, 2019 by

A legal challenge halts plans to close one Isle of Wight primary school and relocate another.

Isle of Wight Council previously proposed shutting All Saints’ Primary School in Freshwater due to failing numbers

Plans to close one primary school and relocate another have been put on hold following a legal challenge.

Isle of Wight Council proposed shutting All Saints’ Primary School, Freshwater, in April and moving pupils to Yarmouth Primary School.

The council said “persons unknown” had made the challenge which said only the governors, who opposed the plans, had the power to agree to a relocation.

The authority said it was looking at other options to reduce capacity.

Under its initial plan, a new, larger school would be built on the All Saints’ site with the expanded Yarmouth school permanently relocated there in 2021, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

‘Disappointing’

To avoid the cost of a legal challenge these proposals are now on hold, the council said.

“It is disappointing that persons unknown to this authority initiated this action before the outcomes of the consultation were even known, creating further uncertainty for young people in the area,” a spokesman added.

“Central to the threat of legal action was the assertion that only the governors of Yarmouth Primary School could agree to its relocation.”

Two co-chairs of governors at the Federation of the Church Schools of Shalfleet and Yarmouth wrote to cabinet member Paul Bradin in June and said the proposal “pays no attention to the educational outcomes of current pupils”.

They also criticised an increase in planned admission numbers for Yarmouth where class sizes would have doubled from 15 to 30.

The council said it had “decided to find an alternative way of achieving its aim of reducing capacity” and was preparing a new paper for consultation.

It added it would also arrange a meeting with the governors of Yarmouth Primary.

Source: Freshwater primary school closure plan on hold amid legal challenge – BBC News

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