Essex school's fate raised with Minister
THE campaign to save a struggling Essex school has been brought to the attention of a Government Minister by Colchester MP Bob Russell.The Alderman Blaxhill School, in the Shrub End area of the town, faces possible closure after a damning Ofsted report followed repeated failures to improve, despite attempts at help from the local education authority.
By Roddy Ashworth
THE campaign to save a struggling Essex school has been brought to the attention of a Government Minister by Colchester MP Bob Russell.
The Alderman Blaxhill School, in the Shrub End area of the town, faces possible closure after a damning Ofsted report followed repeated failures to improve, despite attempts at help from the local education authority.
Mr Russell held a 40-minute meeting with Lord Adonis, the Minister directly responsible for overseeing Essex County Council plans to consider shutting the struggling secondary school and merging it with the Thomas Lord Audley School to form a new city academy.
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Mr Russell said his discussion with Lord Adonis had enabled him to challenge the reasons given by the council to close Alderman Blaxill.
“I let him know precisely what I thought, and how much the proposed closure was opposed by the community in Shrub End - not just those directly involved with the school, but just about everybody in the area,” Mr Russell said.
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“I told Lord Adonis that the current headteacher and board of governors acknowledged that work had to be done to put right the problems identified by a damaging Ofsted report - but I said that, in my opinion, Essex County Council had to be held accountable for allowing this state of affairs to develop and worsen.”
Liberal Democrat Mr Russell added he had also stressed the importance of the school to the children of soldiers based at the Colchester Garrison.
Almost a quarter of the pupils have at least one parent in the Armed Forces, he said.
The Minister promised to consider all the points made to him by Mr Russell.