Parents see victory soon on closures

Nick Holdsworth

Two Midlands schools which faced closure under a surplus places shake-up are likely to be reprieved after fierce opposition from parents and governors, writes Nick Holdsworth.

The proposals to close two primary schools in Coventry as part of a scheme to tackle 9,000 surplus places were drawn up last year.

The Labour-run council blamed the pressure to close schools and reduce surplus places on government-imposed budget cuts. Plans by education chiefs consisted of reducing the size of some schools and closing two - St Andrew's Church of England Infants, Eastern Green, and inner-city Southfields Primary, Hillfields, removing more than 2,000 places - as the best way to avoid other savings options.

In a city with 89 primary and 19 secondary schools offering 56,000 places, but only 47,000 pupils, cutting the surplus through closure and restructuring was the best long-term option, city education chiefs argued.

But parents and governors from the two threatened primaries and other schools disagreed, inundating the council with 900 questionnaires and letters, and challenging officials at 90 public meetings.

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