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Schools: Closures

Volume 496: debated on Monday 5 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools have been closed for each reason for closure since 1997. (287221)

The following table sets out the numbers of school closures, and their reason for closure in each year since 1999. We do not have reliable information about decisions made prior to 1999.

Reason for closure

Cease to maintain

Change of religious character

Due to amalgamation

For academy

For fresh start

To allow for a new establishment

Total

1999

1

1

2

2000

12

96

8

116

2001

26

4

193

3

3

229

2002

31

9

180

4

1

1

226

2003

36

10

177

8

5

236

2004

54

6

191

6

7

1

265

2005

39

8

211

7

7

272

2006

41

4

224

17

3

1

290

2007

45

5

270

34

3

1

358

2008

49

2

193

56

1

301

20091

27

1

104

47

179

Total

361

49

1840

179

38

7

2,474

1 2009 shows schools approved for closure up to 31 August 2009.

The data on the table is recorded on our Statutory Proposals Information (SPI) database. SPI provides information from 1999 but is only accurate from 2001, when local decision making came into force and we started recording decisions on SPI.

There are various reasons for school closures. We categorise these under six different proposal ‘types’:

“Cease to maintain” indicates cases where a school is not proposed to be established on the site of the closing school;

“Change of religious character” is where a school must close and re-open in order to add, change or remove a religious character;

“Due to amalgamation” indicates cases where schools are being closed and a new school established—usually on the site(s) of the closing school(s)—or where one or more closes and an existing school makes prescribed alterations e.g. enlarge, change age range etc;

“For academy” indicates schools that are closing and are being replaced by Academies;

“For fresh start” is where an existing school closes to be replaced by a new school under fresh start policy; and

“To allow for a new establishment” are ‘miscellaneous’ closure proposals. No school has been closed under this category since 2006. (Miscellaneous closure included changing the category of a school—regulations now allow for this.)