East Sussex primary school set to close
and live on Freeview channel 276
On Tuesday (November 14), Cllr Bob Standley, lead member for education, agreed the closure of St Pancras Catholic Primary School in Lewes.
The closure, requested by the school’s governing body and the Diocese of Arundel, is set to come into force on August 31 — following the end of the current school year.
Cllr Standley said: “It is difficult. I don’t like closing schools, but on the evidence in front of me — I have looked at all the reports, I have looked at the equality impact assessment — my decision is accept this statutory proposal to discontinue the school at August next year.”
As a voluntary aided school (rather than a maintained school), consultation on the closure have been run by the school and the Diocese of Arundel. While not directly involved in running this process, the county council is the decision maker for local school closures.
This process began as a result of falling pupil numbers, with governors concerned that the school was no longer financially viable. In a report to Cllr Standly, officers said the governing board and the Diocese had considered alternatives to closure (including federation and academisation) but none were deemed to be viable.
When the school first began its consultation it had 105 pupils on roll, 35 short of its 140 capacity. At time of publication, this number had fallen significantly, with only 35 pupils remaining.
According to council officers, the majority of children that have left St Pancras in recent months have found places at either Wallands Community School or Southover CE Primary School.