Consultation starts on school closure plans

Mountfield and Whatlington School'28/06/12
Mountfield and Whatlington School'28/06/12

A PUBLIC meeting to discuss plans to close a village primary school will take place on Tuesday (September 24).

East Sussex County Council is proposing to close Mountfield and Whatlington Primary School by August 31, 2014.

The authority says it is concerned about declining pupil numbers and the financial viability of the school.

In April 2012 Mountfield and Whatlington was placed in Special Measures, following a critical Ofsted report.

Since then, under the leadership of an Interim Executive Board (IEB) and executive headteacher Barbara Gill attainment has risen - but the council says this is not enough.

Pupil numbers have been in decline since 2002.

In January 2013 there were just 54 children on the school roll against a capacity of 84.

Only 26 per cent of these children lived in Mountfield and Whatlington.

The council is also predicting a budget deficit for the financial year 2014/15.

A spokesperson for ESCC said: “We are concerned about the long term sustainability of Mountfield and Whatlington School on the grounds of its capacity to sustain improvements in standards in the context of declining popularity and financial viability.

“The Diocese of Chichester shares these concerns and has agreed the council should consult key stakeholders about the proposed closure of the school.”

The meeting will take place between 6-7.30pm.

Alternatively, email your views to the county council at school.consultations@eastsussex.gov.uk quoting Mountfield and Whatlington in the subject line.

The consultation will close on Friday October 25.