Possible School Closure

So the tribe have been back in school for a few weeks now and so far all seems settled. Going back after a break can be a struggle for the older 3 as the change of routine throws them off for a while. But so far so good all seem good this time around and it does seem to be getting easier as they get older and they can work around their own feelings.

The 2nd week back at school we were hit with the news that the high school the boys attend is to close at the end of the school year! It was a shock, the Secretary Of State has already agreed to the closure. We are now subjected to a listening period so we can all give our opinion on the closure. I'm sure its a done deal, the school is only running on half capacity. They had a pretty bad Ofsted report a where branded inadequate, so entry figures have been dropping for a few years. The school have made some improvements and the latest visit branded significant improvement. Obviously, the school being branded inadequate doesn't help entry figures as the school wouldn't be appealing. I also think a large part of dropping numbers is down to branding on social media, people are readily available to slag the school off when something bad happens. You don't see anyone praising the school on social media! L has been attending since year 7 and they have bent over backwards to accommodate him and his needs. There has been a change of SENCO whilst he has been there and a change to the structure of the resource provision. This again had some parents up in arms, I know all SEND children have different needs, but the staff in place always had L's needs in the forefront of their mind and ensured any disruption was minimal for him. He has been abe to use the resource provision as he always has, has the same TA's in a class where possible and has a pass to leave lesson if he needs to. As I have worked in a school whilst training to be a teaching assistant I have a little insight into how decisions are made and the red tape surrounding these decisions. L is just a few months from leaving, so aside from him being upset that his favourite staff members face losing their jobs, this decision doesn't affect him. 

We selected this school for Dj based on how well Logan has done at this school, now Dj is faced with having to start all over again in a new school! It has taken us to this stage to get him settled, get him some support. We are just about to start the EHCP process for hm and I'm not even sure where this leaves us or him. The other 3 local school just don't appeal to us and this is the reason we didn't choose them in the first place and an out of area school wouldn't work due to travel. 

What concerns me as a local resident is what do the LA think they are going to do with all these pupils who now need a new school? The plan is children in year 7, 8 and 9 will have to reapply for a school place and the kids in year 10 will stay on and complete their GCSE's at the school. The 3 local schools are pretty much already full and there are now 250+ children needing a school place. This means larger class numbers in already struggling/oversubscribed schools. It's a ridiculous situation. I don't think it helps the current school lies smack in the middle of the hospital and the airport, meaning its in the way of the future development of both sites, little inconvenient! 

We have been sent forms through the post with a choice of 6 schools, 3 of which are out of the area, one isn't even open yet! I know most parents will opt for the 3 local schools on offer, which means definitely not enough spaces. Dj has expressed a preference for one school, but I am not sure they can provide the support he needs. Next step is to go to the parents meeting tomorrow evening and see what is said. It's a nightmare situation for all of us parents and all we can do now is sit back and wait for the uncertainty of the waiting period!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx
  1. Oh no! What a nightmare. It seems crazy that the school is being closed when there is not much space elsewhere. Good luck. I hope it all goes OK. x

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