The closure of a rural Isle of Wight primary school may be halted for now but its future still remains undecided.

Following their success at the May election, new ruling party of the Isle of Wight Council, the Alliance Group suspended the proposal to close Chillerton and Rookley Primary School and move pupils to Godshill.

Cllr Debbie Andre, the new lead for children’s education, previously said there would be no immediate closure and it was only right and proper to look at all the issues inherited from the previous administration — including the school’s closure.

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A proposed way forward for the future of the school was due to be decided in May, according to versions of the council’s future plan but has since been marked as abandoned.

In pausing the closure, Chillerton and Rookley and Godshill primary schools will be open for September 2021, a victory claimed by the campaign group to save the school.

The campaign group has been proposing the idea of flexi-schooling to keep the school going but this had been rejected by Chillerton and Rookley executive headteacher, Mark Snow, at a meeting of Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Council.

The Stenbury Federation, which runs both schools, said the decision to merge the two, ultimately closing Chillerton, was because of falling pupil numbers and budget constraints.

Giving an update to the council’s cabinet last night (Wednesday), Cllr Andre said she was working with staff to draw up a range of options for the school’s predicament.

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Cllr Andre said the paper will go out for prior consultation with parents first before it comes to cabinet after her decision to keep the school open for the current admissions was disappointingly leaked to the media.

In the future, Cllr Andre said she would take note that parents be informed in an appropriate manner.

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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
1 month ago

add the two school kids together gets 171 pupils – the capacity of godshill is 175

chillerton – capacity 91 – pupils 69
godshill -capacity 175 – pupils 102

this isn’t about falling numbers – it is about the stenbury foundation that run the schools trying to cut their costs, so that they can up their own wages.

closing one of these schools is the most pathetic, short sighted and poorly thought out decisions going – which idiot agreed to this?

closing one, puts the other at near full capacity, doesn’t future proof it for increased numbers going forwards – how many houses being built on the island?

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