Colchester schools axe 'indefensible'

PROPOSALS to close schools in an Essex town are “indefensible” and would force pupils away from their communities, it was claimed last night.

PROPOSALS to close schools in an Essex town are “indefensible” and would force pupils away from their communities, it was claimed last night.

The accusation was made by the Essex National Union of Teachers (NUT) and came as the county council's consultation on secondary education in Colchester formally closed.

Lord Hanningfield, council leader, has said he wants to improve exam results and halt falling pupil numbers.

The council's preferred option of three proposals is the closure of Alderman Blaxill, Thomas Lord Audley (TLA) and Sir Charles Lucas schools with Sir Charles Lucas replaced by a new academy on the same site.


You may also want to watch:


Pupils within the catchment areas of Alderman Blaxill and TLA would then be redistributed among the five other non-selective secondary schools serving the area.

However, a fourth “community” option has been winning favour with those directly affected which would see Alderman Blaxill and TLA remain open and form a federation with the Stanway School.

Most Read

Yesterday, Jerry Glazier, general secretary of Essex NUT, said: “We are committed to each community having a good local school.

“This principal is even more important in communities where social economics have a more significant role to play in access to education.

“Provision in these areas needs to be significantly enhanced, locally focused and designed to meet the often complex needs schools serve.

“Expecting students to move away from their communities to access secondary education is indefensible and likely to damage community coherence.”

A decision on which option will be chosen by the council is expected to be announced next month.

Lord Hanningfield has said: “Change is absolutely necessary and could open the way for significant additional funding - running into millions - which may well not otherwise be made available to Colchester schools.

“Whatever your views, it is important that all residents recognise that the status quo cannot continue and those that pretend otherwise are misleading the public.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus