Will two schools go into one?

CAN two Rye schools fit on the same site?

That is the question being asked as work gets underway on Rye’s pioneering new Studio School.

The issue surfaced at the recent Rye Town Meeting where concerns were raised that the new studio school could be at the expense of Rye College.

One parent said: “I am concerned about the future of Rye College.

“This new school will take up a third of its land and two of its buildings. It will also see the college losing several of its top staff to work at the new school.

“Will this new school be at the expense of our established College?”

But Rye College head Ann Cockerham was quick to dispel this commenting: “There is no danger of numbers falling at Rye College. We have a healthy intake of people wanting to come here. Applications for Rye College have actually gone up in 2013.

“Parents are tempted by the prospect of children being able to stay on and take post 16 education on the same campus.

“There will be no more than 300 pupils at the new Studio School and Rye College will not exceed its intake of 750.”

She added: “As for the accommodation building we are about to demolish to make space for the new school – it should have been condemned years ago.

“It was put up in 1974 and only meant to last for ten years. It is despicable that young people should have to be educated in a building like this, but previously there were no funds available to replace it.

“We hope that the local community can come in and use some of the facilities of the new school when it is built.”

The new school will be one of only 30 Studio Schools in the country when it opens in September and the first of its kind in the South East.

Ann Cockerham said: “It is absolutely pioneering and something the Rye community can be really proud of.”