Following the announcement made earlier today by the governing body of Yarmouth Primary School in relation to the West Wight school places issue, Cllr Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, said,
“The council has fully considered the implications of it supporting a decision by the governing body of Yarmouth Primary School to relocate to the Freshwater site and fully believes supporting this move is the positive way forward.
“It ensures a strong, sustainable and robust educational offer is provided in the area’s largest community and secures a multi-million pound capital investment opportunity that will benefit children, their learning and the wider Island economy.
“The key focus must now be on supporting, through the very best transition arrangements, all those impacted by the two decisions recently taken.
“I would like to reassure parents and pupils that we will do everything we can to make all transitions as smooth as they can possibly be, and that we are committed to working closely with the schools to develop a robust communications strategy to ensure parents are kept informed of progress at every stage in the process.
“I would particularly like to reassure the parents of All Saints’ children that nothing has changed for them with regards to their choice of schools following this decision.
“During the transition period, arrangements will be in place to enable All Saints’ pupils to stay on and become Yarmouth Primary School pupils, if that is the parents’ choice.
“It remains our priority to ensure all schools secure high attainment and we continue to work with the schools in the West Wight to provide the individual support they need.
“The council has been clear throughout the consultations it has undertaken and the reports it has produced that its aim is to provide long-term sustainability to primary education in the area and, that it is of the very highest quality.
“To take no action to manage surplus capacity in the West Wight was not an option. To do nothing would have put at risk all the schools across the area, due to falling numbers and budget pressures. I would be failing in my role if I just ignored this, and I was not prepared to do that.
“The council also remains committed to working with the Yarmouth community and Portsmouth and Winchester Diocese to consider how when it becomes available, the Yarmouth school site can be re-purposed to again play an active role in the area.”