STATUTORY CONSULTATION BEGINS ON COUNTY COUNCIL’S PROPOSED TWO TIER SCHOOL SYSTEM

A Statutory Consultation began today, January 27th, on Somerset County Council’s proposal to change the current three tier school system to two tier in the Crewkerne and Ilminster area. The consultation period, which runs until 5 pm on Wednesday February 24th, provides members of the public with a final opportunity to respond to the proposed changes, which if implemented, would see the closure of Misterton First School, the abolition of middle schools – Maiden Beech Academy in Crewkerne and Swanmead Community School in Ilminster having to change to primary school status and Wadham School, currently classed as an upper school, becoming the only secondary school for pupils in the Crewkerne and Ilminster area.

A pre-publication consultation between November 12th and December 11th last year, recorded that at least ‘two thirds of respondents expressed negative viewpoints’ on the County Council’s ‘single option proposal’ but ‘no viable alternatives have been put forward to the proposal’. The outcome of the ‘listening exercise’ resulted in the Cabinet Member for Education and Transformation, Councillor Faye Purbrick, taking a Non-Key Decision on January 18th to proceed to a Statutory Consultation. The proposals will be reviewed after the consultation period ends and before the March Cabinet meeting of SCC by The Children and Families Scrutiny Committee.

Anyone who wishes to make their views known during the current consultation period, can do so through the online questionnaire at www.somerset.gov.uk/schoolsconsultation, write to Crewkerne and Ilminster Consultation, Somerset County Council, County Hall, The Crescent, Taunton TA1 4DY, or send an email to crewkerneilminsterschools@somerset.gov.uk. People can also submit a public question to the following meetings; The Children and Families Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday 3rd March or The Council’s Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday 17th March, 2021. All documents relating to these proposals are available to view on the consultation webpage; http://www.somerset.gov.uk/crewkerne-and-ilminster….

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