Grantham academies trust is criticised by Lincolnshire County Council over plan to close Charles Read

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Lincolnshire County Council has said the proposed closure of Charles Read Academy will be “detrimental to education in the Grantham and Corby Glen area”.

The local authority has reacted strongly against West Grantham Academies Trust’s decision to consult on the closure of the Corby Glen school.

Trust CEO Trudy Brothwell told the Journal that by moving Chrles Read pupils, of which there are curently 230, to St Hugh’s they will have access to a better eductioan and increased learning opportunities.

However, LCC sais the trust has chosen to go ahead with the move despite its concerns raised, which is responsible for ensuring that there are enough places available for children and young people to attend school both now and in the future.

Councillor Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for children’s services, said: “This is a decision that has been taken by the academy in consultation with the DfE. It is not a county council decision and we are disappointed that the academy trust is taking this action.

“To place Charles Read pupils at St Hugh’s would result in young people travelling vast distances to school and we do not think that parents would want this. The proposals would also significantly increase transport costs which would have to be met by the county council.”

Parents have been told in a letter from the trust that reasons for the decision include the falling number of children eligible for secondary education in the area in the next five years and the impact of changes to funding leading to reduced income for schools. The county council said it is clear that the proposal to close the school will be detrimental to education in the Grantham and Corby Glen area.

Leader of LCC Coun Martin Hill, said: “As the local county council member for this area, I am extremely disappointed that a decision of this note has been taken without any consultation or input from us.

“It’s important to note that Grantham has ‘growth point’ status and is expected to see a considerable increase in pupil numbers from September 2014 for primary intakes, so closing the school makes little sense and reduces the ability to plan for the future.

“The chief executive of the academy has written to parents saying one of the reasons for the decision is that funding changes from Government will see a reduction in income for schools. What she doesn’t say is that schools will be protected from significant loss of funding for at least two years.”