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School Closures And Amalgamations

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 23 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a list showing, for each recent year, and for each set of proposals for the closure or amalgamation of schools that he has refused (a) the name of the local education authority, (b) the age range of children concerned, (c) the date that the authority first considered the closure of any school identified for closure in the set of proposals, (d) the dates of public consultation on the proposals, (e) the date of receipt of the proposals by his Department, (f) the approximate number of children in the schools identified

LEAProposalDate statutory proposal publishedDate rejected
WakefieldClosure of Tithe Barn First School and change in the age range of ten other schools20 October 198314 January 1985
LiverpoolClosure of Blue Coat Secondary School22 October 198412 March 1985
LancashireAmalgation of Castle Secondary School and Greaves Secondary School25 April 198420 February 1985
StaffordshireClosure of Weston Road High School28 September 19844 April 1985
MertonAmalgamation of Eastfields High School, Willows High School and Rowan High School5 July 198415 April 1985
ILEAAmalgamation of St. Edmunds Secondary School and St. Thomas More Secondary School23 November 198412 August 1985
NottinghamshireClosure of Merrivale Nursery School12 September 19843 April 1985
BarnsleyAmalgamation of St. Matthews Infant School and Kier Street Junior School2 November 198413 May 1985
WolverhamptonReorganisation of Secondary Schools: Closure of four schools including one grammar school and change age range of 10 schools to 11–16 from 11ߝ18 as well as establish two Tertiary Colleges9 January 198525 November 1985
ILEAAmalgamation of Cardinal Manning Secondary School and Sion Manning Secondary School23 November 198412 August 1985
Newcastle-upon-TyneClosure of St. Mary's RC Primary School13 January 198623 June 1986
CoventryClosure of Stivichall Junior School21 June 198516 April 1986
KirkleesAmalgamation of Heckmondwike Grammar, Heckmondwike Secondary and Liversedge Secondary Schools6 June 19859 May 1986
GloucestershireReorganisation of secondary schools in Gloucester City: closure of eleven schools including five grammar and establishment of six secondary schools30 November 198424 March 1986
AvonClosure of Beechen Cliff Secondary School for Boys10 September 19849 May 1986
BoltonClosure of Fourgates County Primary23 August 198512 June 1986
TraffordAmalgamation of St. Mary's, Cardinal Vaughan and St. Paul's RC Secondary Schools6 December 198517 September 1986
DorsetAmalgamation of Sherborne Lord Digby's and Sherborne Foster's Grammar Schools to form Sherborne Aldhelm's Secondary Modern16 November 198425 March 1986
GloucestershireReorganisation of secondary schools in Stroud: Closure of five schools including two grammar schools and establishment of four comprehensive schools15 November 198424 March 1986
DevonReorganisation of comprehensive schools: closure of 12 and establishment of four secondary schools19 March 198425 February 1986

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a list showing for each set of proposals for the closure or amalgamation of schools that he is currently considering (a) the name of the local education authority, (b) the age range of children concerned, (c) the date that the authority first considered the closure of any school identified for closure in the set of proposals, (d) the date of public consultation on the proposals, (e) the date of receipt of the proposals by his Department and (f) the approximate number of children in the schools identified for closure; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what number of sets of proposals for the closure or amalgamation of schools approved by him since the publication of "Better Schools," Cmnd. 9496, have not met the guidance given on minimum for closure, (g) the date of refusal and (h) whether or not a replacement set of proposals has been approved subsequently; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not available on (c), (d), (f) and (h). The following table gives the available information on closure or amalgamation proposals which were rejected by my right hon. Friend or his predecessor in 1985 and 1986.size of schools contained in paragraphs 273 and 275; what number of such approvals there have been for primary schools; and if he will make a statement;(2) what number of sets of proposals for the closure or amalgamation of schools approved by him since the publication of the 1981 circular "Falling Rolls and Surplus Places" have not met the guidance given on minimum size of schools, as repeated in paragraph 273 of "Better Schools" Cmnd. 9469; what number of such approvals there have been for primary schools; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information has been received by his Department in recent years regarding schemes for school closures or amalgamation as to (a) the length of time since the local education authority first considered any part of the scheme and (b) the effects and consequences during that time on any school provisionally identified for closure, in particular changes in capital spending and pupil numbers; what studies have been made on any adverse effects which might occur during a lengthy period of uncertainty about the future of a school; what steps he has taken to mitigate any such effects and consequences; and if he will make a statement.

The information at (a) and (b) is not available. It is for local education authorities to consider the timing and consequences of any statutory proposals for closing or amalgamating schools; no studies have been made of these matters. My right hon. Friend has given an undertaking that once proposals have been made he will use his best endeavours to reach a decision within six months of their publication unless there are exceptional circumstances.