Councillors extraordinary meeting to discuss Southfield closure
The meeting on Friday afternoon will offer the public an opportunity to speak
An extraordinary meeting of Brackley Town Council has been called for this afternoon (Friday) to discuss the closure of Southfield Primary School.
It’s a week since the school’s governors made the surprise announcement that the school would be closing at the end of this school year as it is no longer financially viable.
This afternoon’s meeting will enable Councillors to request additional information from West Northamptonshire Council, the Department for Education and the school’s Trustees. They will then make an official response to the news.
West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills is Fiona Baker, who is also a Town Councillor. Earlier this week she said: “Sadly the number of parents choosing to send their children there continues to be low and, at just under a quarter full, we understand why the trustees and Department for Education feel it is no longer financially viable to stay open from next summer.”
There have been some accusations that the children have been steered away from Southfield when primary school places have been allocated – something Councillor Baker refutes. She said: “…this is not something we could legally do nor would wish to, as it is important that parents are given a choice of which school their child attends, and they make this based on what best suits their family’s needs and the performance of schools available to them.”
The area’s MP, Andrea Leadsom, has confirmed she will be at today’s meeting. Yesterday she revealed that she had been told the school would close in August by Baroness Barran, the Minister for the School System. Prior to this Dame Andrea had written in support of the school’s improvement plans.
In response to local speculation that the school’s land could be sold off for housing she said: “It is my view that the site should continue to offer community facilities for young people and that new youth facilities alongside a SEND provision to meet the significant demand in West Northants would be a good use of the site. I will continue to work with the Council and other stakeholders to try to make sure that this site will be of future benefit to Brackley.”
Today’s meeting will be held in Egerton Hall, starting at 4pm, and there will be an opportunity for members of the public to speak.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam