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Village Schools Face Closure

Two Warwickshire schools in a village near Coleshill are likely to be merged into one building to save money and allow improvements to be made.

The neighbouring Baddesley Ensor Junior and Infant schools have been recommended for closure by Warwickshire County Council and the Church of England.

Members of the county council’s cabinet are being asked to approve the merger of the two schools into an extended Infant School building.

Parents of youngsters at the school have been split during consultation over the proposals.

Governors and teachers say it would save money on maintenance bills.

The Junior School in particular suffers, as the playing field is higher than the building, causing damp.

It also has car parking problems, a small assembly hall on the first floor and insufficient space.

The proposals, due to be considered next week, are to create a school taking 45 children per age group for 4 to 10-year-olds.

Currently the Infant School can take 45 youngsters per age group, and the Junior School 68 children.

Preliminary plans for the extension estimate that £1 million needs to be spent on extending the Infant School to accommodate everyone.

Parents have been told that both schools face financial difficulties because they have fewer pupils than expected.

This means that each school gets less income, because they are paid per pupil, and a higher proportion of the money available has to go on repairs.

At a public meeting called to discuss the changes last month, several speakers expressed concern that the pupils would suffer while the building work was carried out.

Others called for the Junior School to be repaired instead and pre-school facilities to be included in the scheme.

Some claimed they had been presented with a fait accompli as the plans had already been drawn up.

But Junior School governor Martin Sharp said:

“This building needs everything doing. The roof leaks, the offices are too small, the rooms are damp.

“If the amalgamation goes through, let’s get a newer, better school out of it, rather than using all the money just to maintain this site.”
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CWN / Education / Schools / Warwickshire Primary Schools / Baddelsey Ensor / 26 Apr 00

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