The statutory notice of the proposal to close the Grange School and Sports College in Warmley has been published today.
The proposed date of closure is 31st August 2017. If the proposal is approved, South Gloucestershire Council will seek approval from the Schools Adjudicator to cease new admissions with effect from 1st September 2015.
The school was put into special measures following a critical Ofsted inspection in 2013. The council says improvements have been made since then but the Grange still faces serious difficulties, including very low student numbers which are projected to drop even further, a significant budget deficit which is projected to get worse and serious building repair issues with an estimated cost of £8m – £10m.
The council’s view is that the only realistic course of action is a managed closure, otherwise there is a danger of the school effectively closing by default, with consequent serious difficulties for the pupils and others concerned.
Education chiefs say alternative provision for current pupils will be offered as far as possible in accordance with parental preferences and that the council will offer support and advice to families. The notice says that some children in appropriate age groups may opt for admission to the new Studio School for 14 to 19-year-olds planned for the Grange site and which is set to open in September 2015, subject to final funding approval by the Department of Education.
The council has said it will keep the community sports facilities at the site if the school closes, which will continue to serve local people.
There is now a four-week consultation period on the closure plans, ending on 2nd February.