ILMINSTER NEWS: Council makes “significant milestone” for education future

 ILMINSTER NEWS: Council makes “significant milestone” for education future

SOMERSET County Council’s all-powerful Cabinet committee approved proposals on Wednesday (March 17, 2021) for a major change in the delivery of education in the Ilminster and Crewkerne area.

From September 2022, the area’s current three-tier school system will become a two-tier system with major changes including:

  • Wadham School to become a secondary school.
  • Maiden Beech, Ashlands, St Bartholomew’s, Merriott and Haselbury Plucknett to become primary schools.
  • Swanmead and Greenfylde to amalgamate and become a primary school.
  • Closure of Misterton School.

The council’s education and transformation spokesman, Cllr Faye Purbrick, said: “This marks a significant milestone for the future of education in Crewkerne and Ilminster.

“I think it’s fair to say that it has been a long and sometimes difficult journey to reach this point after ten years of reviewing, engaging and consulting on a number of proposals.

“Now, after today’s final decision, we can move forward to ensure a smooth transition to a two-tier system from September 2022.

“The changes will bring improvements to the area. The council has committed over £5m to improve the quality of school buildings, alongside other remodelling work.

“All Ilminster pupils will be able to look forward to getting access to after school activities due to the commitment to add a later bus as part of the change. We will work with schools to look at innovative models of primary education and to tackle the shortage of wraparound care for older children.”

Cllr Purbrick added: “I’d like to encourage everyone involved to work together to make these changes happen as smoothly as possible for the children, their families, carers and school staff. This will help ensure that every child continues to receive the excellent education that they absolutely deserve.” 

The council’s Cabinet decision was the final step in the latest consultation process that ran between November 2020 and February 2021.

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