Schools' campaign takes to the internet

A CONTROVERSIAL campaign to overhaul the secondary education system in Colchester is being taken to the internet in a bid to get more support.

James Hore

A CONTROVERSIAL campaign to overhaul the secondary education system in Colchester is being taken to the internet in a bid to get more support.

Essex County Council has said pupils' exam results must improve and they also want to tackle the issue of declining pupil numbers.

Three options have been put forward but the council's preferred choice is to close Alderman Blaxill, Thomas Lord Audley (TLA) and Sir Charles Lucas schools and replace Sir Charles Lucas with a new academy.


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Pupils falling 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, many residents are in favour of the “community option” which would see the Alderman Blaxill and TLA join the Stanway School as part of a federation, effectively saving them from the axe.

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Lord Hanningfield, leader of the council, has been carrying out a series of public meetings trying to explain the reasons for his proposals but he has been met with criticism from parents.

The council has now set up a page on social networking site Facebook called “Creating world class education in Colchester - the Colchester Schools Consultation”.

Lord Hanningfield, said: “We know the value of new media as a means of disseminating information and of getting younger people engaged in the democratic process.

“When you are consulting on something with such a direct impact on young people it is imperative that they are all given as many opportunities as possible to get information to help them make their decision.

With the Facebook group and YouTube sites providing information, and the pages on the council's own website dedicated to the consultation we are making full use of the internet.”

The site will be updated as the consultation progresses.

And in a further attempt to keep residents informed, information boards - outlining the options and how the public can get involved - are to tour libraries and schools.

Booklets addressing frequently asked questions are also available from libraries and schools and online at www.essex.gov.uk/colchesterschools .

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