Cabinet members agreed to a formal period of consultation on the closure of All Saints’ Primary School, Freshwater on 3rd April 2020 and future expansion of Yarmouth CE Primary School.
Under the recommendation, Yarmouth primary would relocate to the All Saints’ site once proposed building works are completed there.
Following tonight’s decision, the required public notice will be published in local media on Friday 19th July 2019 and people can make their views known through the statutory process.
The council has extended the formal period of consultation from 4 to 9 weeks, closing on Friday 20th September 2019 to take account of the school summer holidays.
All the responses to the statutory notice will be considered fully by the Cabinet and it will make a final decision on Thursday 10th October 2019.
The local authority has to address the oversupply of school places in the area, with 5 schools currently catering for around 90 children per year group — a number which is expected to fall over the coming years. Having fewer schools will also help ensure the remaining schools are more financially resilient.
The council said it made sense to propose the closure of a school that was operating with a significant surplus capacity (62%) and not currently offering a good standard of education, as adjudged by Ofsted.
Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, said:
“In terms of sensible planning for the location of the current schools, it makes sense to use the buildings closest to where the children live.
“Given only seven children attending Yarmouth actually live in the town and 69 live in Freshwater and Totland, it makes logical sense to propose the move to relocate Yarmouth CE Primary onto the All Saints’ site.
“It also makes the most sense strategically in terms of future proofing buildings as the All Saints’ site is due to receive a multi-million-pound investment from the Department for Education to substantially improve/replace the existing buildings.”