Diocese concerned at speed of Isle of Wight council decision-making over West Wight school places

The Diocese say they understand the opposition from parents and acknowledge the need to address surplus school places, but are concerned at the rapid timescales involved in taking these significant decisions.

Peter Leonard

The Diocese of Portsmouth has stepped in to comment on the Isle of Wight council’s plans to move pupils from All Saints’ CE Primary School to Yarmouth CE Primary whilst All Saints’ is extended in size, and for all pupils to them move back to All Saints’ and Yarmouth close. Ed

The Diocese of Portsmouth has a high commitment to education which is seen in and through the many church schools on the Isle of Wight. We enjoy working in partnership with pupils, staff, parents, local communities and the local authority in delivering the very best learning experience for the pupils in our schools.

Acknowledge opposition
We acknowledge the opposition to these plans from governors, staff and parents connected with both schools, the level of disruption the current proposals would cause in both school communities, and the lack of practical detail put forward so far.

Understand need to reduce surplus places
However, we also understand the need to reduce surplus school places in West Wight, and the challenge that declining numbers poses for All Saints C of E Primary School in Freshwater in particular.

Concerned at speed of decision-making
We are concerned at the rapid timescales involved in taking these significant decisions.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with the local authority and representatives from both schools to ensure that the maximum support and resources are made available to minimise disruption to the pupils and the local communities involved.

Leonard: In conversation with governing bodies and local authority
The Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, The Venerable Peter Leonard,

“We are committed to working with all stakeholders in both providing the best possible education for children on the Island and also addressing the particular demographic challenges of the West Wight area and are in conversation with the governing bodies of both schools as well as the local authority.”

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