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Press Release

WEST WIGHT AREA PRIMARY SCHOOL PROVISION CONSULTATION TO BEGIN Date Published: 09/06/2011 Expires: 09/07/2011

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A six week consultation on options to reduce the number of primary school places in the Freshwater and Totland area will begin on Monday 13 June.

Because the number of places in the area is much higher than children to take them, the council is looking to reduce provision. The council's preferred option is to close Weston Primary School as part of the move to reduce surplus places.

It is important that education is provided as cost-effectively as possible. The council needs to take action to remove empty places at schools that are unpopular with parents and which do little to raise standards or improve choice

Janet Newton, IW Council Head of Schools Infrastructure said the pupil intake number at Weston was unsustainable, saying "Weston's reception intake for September 2011 is currently seven pupils, which leaves 23 unfilled places.

"Because of the small number of children at the school, it needs over £1500 more funding per pupil than the Island average to keep going. This funding should be used to raise standards at schools rather than paying for empty desks"

There are sufficient available places to accommodate any pupils at other local schools.

The council and the Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth will also actively support the change of All Saints Primary School from a voluntary controlled school to a trust school although this will not affect its religious character. This change of status will mean that the new All Saints governing body will be wholly representative of the local community. This is important because Weston is the only non faith-based school west of Newport.

Formal consultation on the preferred option to close Weston Primary School will end at 1700 on Friday 22 July.

There will also be a public meeting at West Wight Middle School in Freshwater on Wednesday 22 June from 1900 2100.

Residents can comment by emailing freshwater.totland@iow.gov.uk or in writing to:

Alex Moffat
Principal Officer: School Place Sufficiency
Isle of Wight Council
County Hall
Newport
Isle of Wight
PO30 1UD

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