Plans in place to close school

A SECONDARY school in Colchester is set to close in four years’ time, Essex County Council has announced.

Proposals are in place for Alderman Blaxill School, in Shrub End, to cease admissions to Year 7 from next September and to close in 2014.

A second comprehensive which was also facing the threat of closure, Thomas Lord Audley School, in Monkwick, will remain open.

Stephen Castle, who is responsible for education on Essex County Council, said: “The new proposal continues to build on the premise that every child in Colchester deserves a good education.

“We appreciate this has been a difficult time for parents but I am confident we will deliver a programme of change that is beneficial to all.”

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The proposals came about after Essex County Council reviewed secondary education in Colchester in light of the loss of money from the Building Schools for the Future programme, which was scrapped by the Government earlier this year.

MP for Colchester Bob Russell said the move to close Alderman Blaxill could be short sighted.

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“We do have a surplus of school places across the town at the moment, but it is known that the number of children being born is such that by the end of the decade there will be a requirement for places to be available,” he said.

“I have stated all along that to close both schools is wrong and I’m delighted that a school will remain at the Monkwick site.

“I applaud the county council for their leadership on this issue.”

A consultation will be carried out on the new proposals and this is likely to begin in November and end in January.

County Hall said further details will be given at a later date, but the information was being shared now to ensure parents of current Year 6 pupils who are expressing their preferences for secondary school places in September 2011 are aware of these proposals.

Other Colchester secondary schools will be expanded to take pupils from Alderman Blaxill, but details will not be known until after the consultation.

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