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25 March 2008

Proposals for Secondary schools in Bath and North East Somerset

A strategy to transform Secondary education in Bath and North East Somerset is to be considered by the Council.

The Council will meet on 27th March to discuss proposals which aim to further improve standards in Secondary education and to provide the best possible opportunities for children and young people.

The proposals affect the district’s 13 Secondary schools. They are being put forward following extensive work which has seen the Council engage with schools, governors, parents, pupils and the wider community, to investigate the challenges and achievements experienced by the schools and to then plan for the best possible pattern of Secondary schooling for the future.

A key part of this work was undertaken by the Council’s Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel through its Secondary School Review, published last year.

This report to Council is the result of a thorough review led by Councillor Andy Furse (Kingsmead Ward, Lib Dem) the previous Chair of the Children's Overview and Scrutiny Panel. The recommendations are challenging as no one likes to close schools. However, if we are to give our children the best education that we can we need to persuade the Government to invest in our schools and that means removing excess capacity and focusing on the needs of our own children. The new schools proposed here will enable our children to excel in faciltities fit for the 21st century.

The Strategy sets out options for the future for each of the areas of Bath and North East Somerset.

Proposals for the City of Bath are as follows:

Retain Beechen Cliff School and Hayesfield Technology College as single sex boys and girls 11-18 schools with co-educational post 16 provision.

Retain St. Gregory’s Catholic College as an 11-16 co-educational Catholic school.

Retain Ralph Allen as a co-educational 11-18 school.

Consult on closing Culverhay and re-opening the school as a new 11-18 co-educational Community school or Academy on the current site. This would address the issue of parental demand for a higher number of coeducational places.

Consult on the closure of St Mark’s Church of England and Oldfield schools and opening a new 11-18 co-educational Church of England school in the north of the city. The consultation should determine the site for the school. This would address the issue of parental demand, and also factors including the high number of places at Oldfield School which are currently filled by South Gloucestershire students.

Other proposals have been made for Keynsham and Chew Valley, and Midsomer Norton and Radstock.

Leaflets providing further details about the Strategy and the options have been issued to schools.
The Council will continue to engage with members of the school communities, parents, pupils and the wider community.

Anyone wishing to find out more can also view a copy of the report due to be presented to the Council on March 27 at the Council’s committee papers online

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