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Consultation on the closure of The Coseley School

A decision has been made to undergo a phased closure of The Coseley School based on the facts that the school has suffered falling pupil numbers and exam results

The Coseley School will undergo a phased closure over the next 12 months after cabinet agreed to close the school tonight (Thursday 26 May 2016) in the interests of pupils.

In September 2016 the school had just over 520 pupils - half of its 975 capacity, and last year’s GCSE results placed it bottom of all borough secondary schools for five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths.

The council's Cabinet agreed a consultation exercise in January this year to which more than 200 people responded by completing the online questionnaire, with a further 58 people writing directly to the council in addition to the questionnaire responses. Of those completing the questionnaire sixty eight per cent of people said the reasons for closing the school were clear while sixty two per cent supported the council’s promise to make arrangements for children to travel to alternative schools. Eighty four per cent of people responding to the consultation by questionnaire did not support the closure of the school despite the low pupil numbers, poor exam results and financial difficulties.

The school is currently judged by Ofsted as ‘requiring improvement’. Last year pupils at the school achieved 31 per cent five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, which is well below the national minimum target of 40 per cent, placing it in the bottom 10 per cent of schools in the country. The very low number of parents from Dudley borough putting The Coseley School down as their choice for September 2016, means pupil numbers have fallen to critical levels. The financial issues at the school means if it tried to address them by reducing staff it would not be able to provide an appropriate curriculum for pupils.

Prior to the consultation opening just 54 parents, including 15 from outside the borough, had chosen the school as their first preference for September 2016 against a maximum intake of 195. Since then, more than 190 parents have asked to move their children to other schools and only 26 have continued with their application for a place at the school for this September. The fall in pupil numbers over time has had a negative impact on the school’s finances.

The school will close fully by August 2017. Leisure facilities on the site will remain open to the public under the proposals. Meanwhile, council officers have been tasked with exploring future education provision at the Coseley School site once the upturn in secondary pupil numbers across the borough starts to have an impact from 2019 onwards.

The council has already identified alternative schools with spare capacity which can take pupils that have yet to be placed.

Appeal process

The appeals process is governed by statutory guidance

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