Lancashire County Council has announced a proposed public consultation on the future of Wennington Hall School, Lancaster
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Lancashire County Council has announced a proposed public consultation on the future of Wennington Hall School, in Lancaster.
The decision has been taken by the leader of the county council, Phillippa Williamson, and the cabinet member for education and skills, County Councillor Jayne Rear, on behalf of the cabinet.
The consultation, about the potential closure of the school, is needed after the Secretary of State agreed to revoke an academy order issued in 2017, subject to the county council being able to secure an appropriate provider to take over the running of education provided at the school. No private provider has been found and, prior to the revocation of the academy order, the Regional Schools Commissioner was unable to find a suitable sponsor to run the school.
The statutory consultation process on the potential closure of Wennington Hall School will begin in September. Parents, staff and other interested parties will have the chance to ask questions and to express their views, as part of this consultation.
County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "This proposal has been considered very carefully and this decision has not been taken lightly.
"We have a duty to provide a high-quality education for all of our young people and this was a major factor in the discussions that we had about the future of the school.
"We had hoped to find a suitable provider to take over the school to give us the opportunity to improve the availability of high-quality school places in Lancashire. Unfortunately, that has not been possible. Importantly, taking the decision to consult now enables us to talk to parents and carers about the potential implications for the education of children and young people who are currently being educated at Wennington Hall School.
"Despite our aspirations and all the efforts that have been made, neither a suitable academy sponsor or private provider have been found to do this either.
"We remain committed to providing the highest standard of education for all of our young people."
Wennington Hall is a residential special school for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs. Pupils can also attend the school on a day basis. The school has capacity for 80 pupils, and 34 pupils are currently attending. 14 of these pupils will leave at the end of this academic year.
The county council is committed to continuing to support the school pupils and their families during this period of change.