Process to close Rodmell school begins

March to demonstrate against Pells and Rodmell schools closing back in 2016
March to demonstrate against Pells and Rodmell schools closing back in 2016

Plans to close Rodmell Primary School moved one step further as county councillors agreed to publish statutory notices on the decision.

Back in 2016 East Sussex County Council agreed to consult on a proposal to close both Rodmell and Pells Primary School in Lewes due to concerns about the long-term sustainability of both.

While the decision to close Pells was later taken, Rodmell was given a reprieve allowing the governing body to submit firm plans for the future of the school.

However governors confirmed in January this year that they had been unable to secure a viable alternative partnership model for the school and it would close in August 2018.

The county council’s Cabinet agreed to publish statutory notices on Rodmell’s closure at a meeting on Tuesday (June 27).

A four week period of representation will now run from July to August, with cabinet members asked to make a final decision in September.

Keith Glazier, leader of the county council, said: “At the end of the day its actually concluded that we should have done this last year, but did give a real good opportunity to the community and the people who wanted to keep the school open the opportunity do to that and sadly and it is with regret they have not been able to do that.”

Stuart Gallimore, director for children’s services, explained that just 12 children were on the school roll for the next academic year. He said: “It’s a really disappointing step to propose the closure of any school but I’m convinced in this situation it is the right thing to do.”

Bob Standley, lead member for education and inclusion, special educational needs and disability, added: “Closing a school is always emotive and difficult, but in this case it’s the only course of action that is sensible given that it’s not viable.”