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Monday, 17 September 2007

Educationally Wrong Thing To Do

This time, the letter to DCC is from someone in Buxworth.

I understand well the problems of falling rolls, having worked in state secondary schools since 1963 and ending my career as Headteacher of Bramhall High School – one of England’s largest and most successful comprehensive schools.

Though I recognize the difficulties that DCC is under with regard to falling rolls, I accept the arguments so ably put forward at the meeting on 22nd May by the school, its parents and governors, and by those who operate the Methodist Hall as a community facility.

It is evident that anticipated rolls at Combs Infant School are not falling. Presently, far from there being a surplus of places, the school is actually two over its standard number and I am certain that it will continue to be under pressure for places for many years to come. Had there been surplus places the case for closure would have been stronger. As it is – and it makes sense to think of the area of Chapel-en-le-Frith, Whaley Bridge and Chinley as a whole in terms of the provision of education in the area – there is a great deal of building activity at the moment and Whaley Bridge and Chinley schools are already under pressure for places.

Moreover, as the parents demonstrated at the meeting, it is unlikely that the surplus of places at Chapel CE Primary School will be filled by parents who would otherwise have sent their children to Combs. Indeed, some will be tempted to take up places at Kettleshulme Primary School, which will cost DCC to send them to Cheshire.

I am certain that to close it now, for all those reasons which parents, governors and the community of Combs gave at the meeting, would be educationally the wrong thing to do.
There'll be more from this letter, later this week.

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