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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

DCC Issues Press Release

This has just been issued:

24 October 2007

Members of Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet are being recommended to keep open an infant school facing possible closure.

During an informal public consultation there were 180 letters and a petition with 1,687 signatures
[NOTE 1] opposing proposals to close Combs Infant School in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

When councillors meet on Tuesday 30 October they will be told that although the nearest alternative school, Chapel-en-le-Frith Primary School, provides a good quality education standards at Combs Infant School are currently higher. In its last Ofsted inspection Combs Infant School was rated ‘outstanding’.

As a result they do not believe there is a strong enough case to close Combs Infant School but are recommending that the problem of surplus places in the Chapel-en-le-Frith area is kept under review.

Councillor Alan Charles, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “The purpose of the public consultation was to get the views of people in the Combs and Chapel-en-le-Frith area about the problems being caused by surplus places in the area.

“We have never had any concerns about the quality of education at Combs Infant School. The issue has always been whether it is fair to the tax payer and pupils at other schools in Derbyshire that it costs £5,447 to educate every pupil at Combs
[NOTE 2] compared to the county average of £2,635.

“The majority of pupils travel to Combs
[NOTE 3] which leaves surplus places available at their local community schools.

“Members of the cabinet will be able to look at all the responses from the consultation and the recommendations before taking a decision.”

Councillors will be told that there are also concerns about the impact that closing the school could have on the community as the building is used by a variety of local groups.

(Ref: JF.362.07) Media enquiries to John Fern on 01629 585234 or email

This press release repeats some inaccurate information that DCC has used previously, and which they've been asked to correct.

NOTE 1: There were 2141 signatories to the petitions, not 1687.

NOTE 2: It doesn't cost £5,447 per child. That's a budget figure, not an actual figure. We've explained that before.

NOTE 3: The majority of children, current and planned, live within Combs valley - the natural area for the school.

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