A six-week public consultation has opened today (15 March) seeking views on a proposal to close St Andrew’s Church of England (CofE) High School in August 2020.
The voluntary-aided school in Warrington Road, Croydon is part of the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education’s provision in the borough. The closure is being proposed by Governing Body of St Andrew’s CofE School, with the support of the Diocese and the council.
The council, as the local education authority, is seeking the views of those that will be directly affected, and anyone with an interest, on the proposal.
This consultation, known as a pre-publication consultation, will run for six weeks, from 15 March to 26 April 2019. It is available on the Get Involved page of the council’s website at www.croydon.gov.uk/standrews
Responses to the consultation will be presented to the cabinet member for children, young people and learning, and the council’s executive director for children, families and education, for consideration.
Subject to their approval, this consultation will be followed by the publication of the statutory notice; which will start a four-week representation period when any person can send objections or comments to Croydon Council.
This proposal to close the school follows a decision taken in 2018 by the St Andrew’s CofE School Governing Body, with the support of the Diocese, to suspend admissions. This was due to a decline in pupil numbers, which impacted the funding the school received from the Department for Education (DfE). This in turn affected the school’s ability to maintain full staffing levels, and to offer pupils the full secondary curriculum.
Pupils who were in years 8 and 9, and the incoming year 7s, were offered alternative places at nearby ‘good’ schools, while pupils in years 10 and 11 remained on site to ensure stability throughout their GCSE years.
The school is proposing to remain open until August 2020, when the last of those pupils who remained on site will have finished their GCSEs.
The Governing Board, the Anglican Diocese of Southwark and Croydon Council have been in discussion in relation to options for the future of the school site. The Diocese of Southwark is considering a viable alternative option for the school site and wish to retain proportionality of church school places.
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “St Andrew’s CofE High School has served the local community for many years, however, sadly, a decline in admissions means the school is no longer able to offer the full secondary curriculum. The proposal to close the school is a difficult one for the Diocese and the Governing Body to make, but it is a decision that we understand. We would like to hear your views ahead of our decision.”