Consultation launched on closure of small Worthing school

A consultation on the closure a small Worthing school has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:05 pm
Clapham and Patching Primary School. Photo: Google Images

The council is proposing to close Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School by September 2020.

However it will support the school as it continues to discuss proposals for academisation.

The consultation, which launched yesterday (Monday, February 3) will run for six weeks until March 16.

A public event will be held at the Angmering School at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 12, where parents/carers and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Last year, the county council held an initial consultation to explore several options for the future of the school.

These included federisation, academisation and a merger, as well as closure.

Parents mounted a passionate defence of the school at a meeting held during the first consultation – read more here.

As a result of the feedback and the county council’s own impact assessments, the cabinet agreed to consult on plans to close the school.

Consultations are also ongoing into the future of three other primary schools in the county – Warninglid Primary School, Rumboldswhyke C of E Infant School and Stedham Primary School.

Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The County Council is committed to providing the best education for children in West Sussex.

“That means our schools must have the resources to be able to deliver a broad and high-quality curriculum to their pupils.

“None of these proposals will deliver financial savings to the council.

“But it’s important that all schools are financially robust and have the resources to deliver a good standard of education.

“The funding schools receive from central government is based on how many pupils they have, which puts some small schools under financial pressure.

“We do not underestimate the uncertainty the possibility of closure has on an entire school community and we will continue to support schools through this process.

“Consulting on closure is not a decision taken lightly, but where the long-term viability of a school is uncertain, we as the local education authority have a responsibility to act.

“The council is encouraged by the work many of our small schools are doing to discuss partnerships which can make schools more robust and improve provision for their pupils.

“I very much welcome the views of our residents on these proposals and encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation.”