Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
25.1 The Lead Member considered a report by the Director of Children’s Services, together with consultation responses, including those received after the closing date, regarding the outcome of the consultation on the proposed closure of Fletching CE Primary School and the recommendation of next steps.
25.2 The Lead Member RESOLVED – to halt the consultation on the proposed closure of Fletching CE Primary School and for the school to remain open.
25.3 The consultation responses overwhelmingly object to the proposed closure; there is a clear strength of feeling that the impact on current pupils and the local community would be significant. Substantial fundraising has been undertaken by the community which largely addresses the school’s predicated budget deficit in 2019/20 and 2020/21. Pupil numbers at the school have largely been maintained despite the consultation and governors believe that pupil numbers will begin to increase in the coming years as a result of house building in the area, notably in Uckfield.
local authority however, remains of the view that the school
continues to be vulnerable and its budget deficit has only been
addressed on a short-term basis through one-off funding and
therefore concern remains about the lack of any ongoing committed
funding to support the school beyond next financial year. The
current forecasts for the school do not suggest it will attract
many more pupils from out of area than it has in the past and
in-area demand for places remains low. Despite these factors, and
taking into consideration the improved short term budget position,
the Lead Member is recommended to halt the consultation on the
closure and the school remain open.
Publication date: 31/03/2021
Date of decision: 23/12/2019
Effective from: 04/01/2020