Plans To Scrap Purbeck Middle Schools

People are being invited to comment on new proposals for primary schools in Swanage and Wool.

Thousands of parents are being sent letters, asking for their views on plans to scrap middle schools in Purbeck.

Dorset County Council has agreed ‘in principle’ to change the school system from three to two-tier, as part of a review to tackle more than 1,000 surplus places in the area.

During the first round of consultation, residents raised concerns about primary provision in Swanage and Wool - particularly around parental preference.

From 22 February to 6 April, parents, residents, schools and any other stakeholders will have a chance to study the following new proposals for these areas:

• Both St Mary's Catholic and Wool CE VA First schools in the village of Wool become primary schools.

• All four first schools in the Swanage and Langton Matravers areas become primaries, with St Mark’s moving to the town’s middle school site and St George’s remaining in Langton Matravers.

The county council is also consulting on whether Bere Regis should become part of the Lytchett Minster pyramid of schools.

As well as consultation documents being sent out, the following drop-in sessions are also being held:

3 March 2010 - Wool First School - 3.30-5.30pm
3 March 2010 - D'Urberville Hall - 6-7.30pm
4 March 2010 - St Mary's Catholic First School - 3.30-5.30pm
9 March 2010 - Bere Regis First School - 3-5pm
9 March 2010 - Swanage Children's Centre - 6-7.30pm
10 March 2010 - Swanage First School - 2-4pm
16 March 2010 - St Mary's RC First School - 3.30pm-5.30pm
17 March 2010 - Swanage St Mark's First School - 2-4pm
18 March 2010 - St George's First School, Langton Matravers - 3.30pm-5.30pm

Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services Toni Coombs said:

We listened to local people and took on board feedback given during the first round of consultation and believe these new proposals for primary education in Swanage and Wool will address many of the concerns raised. They will also allow us to remove the majority of surplus places and meet the needs of a 21st Century curriculum, so that the pupils’ education in Purbeck can thrive.”

“The drop-in sessions are for people to come and have an informal chat with officers about these new proposals and ask any questions they may have
.”

The feedback from the consultation will be discussed by councillors in the spring.

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