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Gay Elms And Whitehouse Primary Schools

Volume 622: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What representations have been received from elected councillors from the Bristol South constituency concerning the proposed closure of Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools. [HL696]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment
(Baroness Blackstone)

The Government are not aware of any representations being made on the proposed closure of Gay Elms and White house primary schools from elected councillors in Bristol.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What representations have been received from the Member of Parliament for Bristol South concerning the proposed closure of Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools. [HL697]

The Government are not aware of any representations being made on the proposed closure of Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools from the Member of Parliament for Bristol South.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will examine if Bristol Council has been fair to the people of Bristol South in proposing to close Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools so soon after the closure of Merrywood school, Knowle West, Bristol. [HL698]

This Government believe that proposals which affect the organisation of schools should be decided locally. It is for local education authorities and other partners in education to bring forward proposals. This Government have introduced a framework of local decision-making whereby decisions such as closures are considered by the local partners in education through the School Organisation Committee (SOC) or the Schools Adjudicator if the SOC can not reach a decision.Bristol City Council members met on 13 February 2001 to consider the proposals to close Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools. Members of the city council voted to reject these proposals. The matter will therefore not proceed to the School Organisation Committee or the Schools Adjudicator.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Given the need for autistic children to have long-term stability and consistency, whether they will examine the proposal to close Gay Elms school to see whether it is compatible with the well-being of the autistic children who attend the school. [HL699]

This Government believe that decisions which affect the organisation of schools should be taken locally. The proposal to discontinue Gay Elms primary school expected that the resource base for autistic children would remain in its current accommodation on the site of the former Gay Elms infant school. A development group was established to identify a new host school and to secure new accommodation for the future.Members of Bristol City Council met on 13 February 2001 to consider the proposed closure of Gay Elms school. It is my understanding that the council members voted to reject the proposal.