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15 - Pupils to join Dormston School in September

Youngsters will take up their allocated places at Dormston School in September after the school was told it had no grounds to refuse admitting additional pupils.

More than 80 pupils had been offered places at the school following the consultation and subsequent decision for a phased closure of Coseley School by 2017.

However, Dormston objected to the additional numbers and wrote to the secretary of state to determine whether the decision to allocate these places complied with the law.  

The Department for Education has today upheld the council’s decision, confirming it had acted reasonably in requiring Dormston to accept the pupils.

The council has now made it clear to Dormston it should immediately contact parents to arrange inductions, discuss options choices and transition arrangements.

Councillor Ian Cooper, cabinet member for children’s services said:

“We’ve been extremely disappointed Dormston School has objected to accepting a number of additional pupils.

“Since before the start of the consultation on the closure of Coseley in January, Dormston has been aware there would be implications for it and it would need to accommodate additional pupils. Unfortunately it has chosen not to act in the best interest of the children and parents.

“No school has been asked to accept more pupils than it has previously agreed to under its Planned Admissions Number.

“The DfE has now confirmed the council acted reasonably in asking the school to accept additional pupils and has upheld parents’ rights to choose a place at a school which still has places.”

Plans for a phased closure of Coseley School, due to falling pupil numbers and exam results, were agreed in May following a consultation.

The council worked with schools near to Coseley, including Dormston, when they received admissions requests from parents of the current years 7, 8 and 9 Coseley pupils, to ensure disruption to these young people and their families was kept to a minimum.

Councillor Cooper added:

“The pupils’ education and welfare has always been, and will continue to be, our top priority.

“We have always supported parents in their right to maintain their choice. We will now ensure Dormston School meets its responsibility to ensure children can begin their transition to their new school as soon as possible.”

News Release Contact Information

Press office, 01384 815219, pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk