Isle of Wight Studio School: ‘Listening period’ for closure plans comes to an end

Campaigners say if the regional schools commissioner accepts the proposal to close the school, despite hundreds of students, parents, businesses and organisations putting forward strong and valid arguments, he won’t have ‘listened’.

end sign

The south east regional schools commissioner said he will take into account the Ofsted report, before a decision is made about the Isle of Wight Studio School.

An Ofsted inspection took place at the school earlier this month, although the outcome will not be known for several weeks.

Inspire: “Financially unsustainable in its current form”
The Inspire Academy Trust, which runs the school, has reaffirmed its belief the school is financially unsustainable.

A spokesperson for the Trust said:

“Inspire Academy Trust is overwhelmed by the high regard that the Isle of Wight Studio School is held in by people on the Island.

“However, during this difficult process, we have undertaken further analysis which confirms our view the school is financially unsustainable in its current form.

“The school will be in deficit at the end of this academic year and this will continue and get worse next year. Operating a school at 40 per cent capacity indefinitely is simply not tenable and sadly, the Isle of Wight Studio School has only ever operated at around half its total capacity.

“This is not in the best interests of the school or its students.

“Inspire Academy Trust has extensively explored all the options available to us to keep the school open. Regrettably, no solution has been found. The listening period closed today [22nd May] and we now await the final decision of the Department for Education.”

‘Phenomenal’ support for campaign
Since the potential closure was announced parents, students and councillors have campaigned to keep the school open.

Amy Lockwood and Sharon Lake, who coordinated the campaign, thanked Islanders for their ‘phenomenal’ support.

They said:

“This only proves what we already know, this school offers what young people need and truly does change lives for the better.

“If the regional schools commissioner, Dominic Herrington, does indeed accept the Inspire Academy Trust’s proposal to close the school next summer, despite the hundreds of students, parents, businesses, organisations and the Island community as a whole, putting forward strong and valid arguments, he clearly hasn’t ‘listened’.”

Image: cogdog under CC BY 2.0

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1 Comment on "Isle of Wight Studio School: ‘Listening period’ for closure plans comes to an end"

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Don’t think it would be fair to say he hasn’t listened if he allows closure. At some point the numbers have to add up. Losing their sister school will have pushed up some costs, but I’d like to think this style of education could come under the umbrella of another school so that their important work continues.