REVIEW OF EDUCATION PROVISION

A review of education provision in Crewkerne is being carried out by Futures for Somerset, on behalf of Somerset County Council. The organisation will produce a report that looks at a range of alternative structures and the educational impacts of each model at each Key Stage. They will also look at the impact on pupils with Special Educational Needs, early years provision (pre-school and nursery), staffing implications, transport costs, impact on communities and the costs of making any change.

The educational system in Crewkerne is currently three tiered, with First Schools (St Bartholomew’s and Ashlands), a Middle School (Maiden Beech Academy) and Wadham Community School. Maiden Beech Academy have applied to join The Bridgwater College Trust, a multi-academy whose key aims are to “ensure governance of the Trust provides support and challenge that enables academies to be autonomous, diverse and successful, and to ensure the long term financial health of the Trust.”

Maiden Beech Academy have invited all parents whose children attend the school to a Parent Forum Meeting on Tuesday April 23rd at 6 pm in the Learning Resources Centre. The meeting has been called to discuss the academy’s application to join The Bridgwater College Trust and the possible change in uniform, likely to include the requirement for pupils at Maiden Beech to wear a school blazer.

Recent press reports have suggested that academies within The Bridgwater College Trust will be applying for a subsequent change in age range, to enable them to admit pupils through to the age of 16 years. Somerset County Council said: “We have been assured by the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) that a decision in relation to any future application to change age ranges will be informed by the outcomes of the review. Any such application would be deemed to be a ‘Significant Change’ for an academy and there is a statutory process that must be followed, prior to a decision being made by the RSC, which includes the need for a formal consultation process with all interested parties.”

An Options Appraisal will be produced by Futures for Somerset by the end of May, which will help Somerset County Council decide which model(s) they want to take forward for further consultation. The county council expects to be able to identify a preferred option for education provision in Crewkerne and a timescale for putting it in place, by the end of this Summer.

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