Consultation paper on Crowland school closure ‘flawed’

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting against the closure of a school in Crowland are urging people not to respond to a “flawed” consultation document.

People are being asked to hold on to their feedback forms for St Guthlac School until after the next consultation meeting.

The plea has come from “interested parties”, which includes representatives of Crowland Parish Council, county councillor Paul Przyszlak and parent/governor Jim Astill.

They say they have had to meet at short notice because the “flawed” documents arrived earlier than had been indicated at the public meeting in January.

Consultation is underway to decide whether the school should close and open as a new academy with George Farmer Technology and Language College at Holbeach.

“If you read the document it’s supposed to be on the creation of an academy,” said Coun Przyszlak. “It gives details of how financially unviable St Guthlac is but it doesn’t come to any conclusions.”

Coun Przyszlak says there is also no indication of how the £8.5million funding for the academy would be spent.

A meeting for interested members of the public will follow the formal consultation meeting at the school, which starts at 7.30pm on February 16.

However, Andy Breckon, the county council’s assistant director of children’s services, said: “The conclusions from the county council’s analysis are that St Guthlac is not viable as a stand-alone school from a financial and educational point of view, but the current consultation provides an opportunity for all interested parties to comment so that the council can give it careful consideration before any decisions are taken.”

He said it is too early to say what the £8.5million will be spent on.

Mr Breckon added: “If the county council document had been released any later then there would not have been time to complete the process without entering the summer holiday period creating great uncertainty for pupils, parents and staff.

“This would not be good practice and should only happen if there is no alternative.”

The consultation closes on March 16.