We can’t become complacent over the fate of closed school – parents

Protesters out in force on Saturday

Steps are being taken to ensure the ‘long-term future’ of a school after a damning Ofsted report.

Chiltern Edge school in Sonning Common might be facing closure after the poor grade was received in March.

Now local politicians are saying the school could be saved if the right sponsor is found.

But ‘Save Our Edge’ campaigners are saying they must ‘not become complacent’ in their efforts to save the institution.

Parents and children were out in protest on Saturday to raise awareness against the threat of permanent closure.

An Ofsted report from March 2017 rated the school as ‘inadequate’ in several areas including leadership and management, overall effectiveness and quality of teaching.

Now, Rob Wilson who is standing as MP in Reading East said he is working with prospective Henley MP John Howell and Oxfordshire county council (OCC) to secure the ‘long-term’ future of the school by finding a sponsor to make sure it can reopen.

In a letter addressed to Mr Wilson and Mr Howell, leader of Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth said: “The OCC is actively seeking a sponsor for Chiltern Edge so that the school can continue at its current location as an academy.

“This process will run in tandem with the consultation on the consideration of closure, although I must stress that the latter is simply a legal procedure laid down by government, which we have to follow.

“Closure would be an absolutely last resort for us and our focus remains firmly on exploring all avenues to find an academy sponsor.

“We will work closely with you to find a satisfactory resolution to the school’s future.”

In a statement after the school’s closure, headteacher Daniel Sadler said: “It is extremely disappointing that despite the best efforts of staff, students and parents the inspectors have reached this conclusion. The local authority is now providing support to the school while the consequences of this judgement are considered.

“However, when a school has been judged as inadequate, the local authority is required to consider the closure of a school as one of the two reorganisation options, the other being opening Chiltern Edge as a sponsored academy.

“We will continue to ensure our students and their families are kept informed and must stress that no decisions on the school’s future have yet been taken.”

On Tuesday, the council announced that a decision on the future of  the school will be delayed by a month until June 30 in order to allow consultation responses to be considered.

The ‘Save Our Edge’ campaigners are crowdfunding to buy equipment to help them promote the school.

To donate, visit https://tinyurl.com/kjes2pj.

To take part in the consultation, visit https://tinyurl.com/knqtrv3.

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