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Secondary Education: Admissions

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what undertakings on school placements have been given to parents on Canvey Island following the decision to close Furtherwick school. (196961)

School place planning is a local matter. Where changes are proposed, a statutory process must be followed.

I understand that following a period of statutory consultation to address declining pupil numbers in Essex, Essex county council published a statutory proposal on 7 March 2007. The public notice stated that the following arrangements for pupils affected by the proposal to close Furtherwick Park School from 31 August 2011 would be made:

Pupils currently attending Furtherwick Park School were to complete their education at the school;

Pupils admitted to Year 7 in September 2007 were to spend all of key stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) at Furtherwick Park, but transfer onto the roll of Castle View School, or to other schools which have places available, in September 2010 for the remaining two years of their statutory education (Years 10 and 11);

No new pupils are to be admitted to Furtherwick Park from 1 September 2008. To accommodate pupils who might otherwise have attended Furtherwick Park, Castle View School is to expand to admit up to 240 pupils from September 2008 into Year 7.

Essex School Organisation Committee on 15 May 2007 approved the closure of Furtherwick Park School with effect from August 2011; an increase in the published admission number from 180 to 240 to Castle View School from 2008-09; and the enlargement and relocation of Castle View School from 904 to 1,200 places into new purpose built accommodation on the current Furtherwick Park School site with effect from September 2011.