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Parents Prepare For School Closure Battle

Parents across Coventry are gearing themselves up to protest against plans to close their children’s schools at a series of meetings.

Fourteen primary schools in the city are threatened with closure as part of plans by Coventry City Council to reduce the number of surplus places.

Council officials, councillors, headteachers, governors, teachers and parents are all to attend meetings at each school to discuss the measures.

The consultation follows angry scenes outside the council house where parents campaigned against the proposed closures of some schools in Willenhall.

Labour and Conservative councillors said they supported the need for closures, while the Socialist party called for changes to be made in the way schools are funded to prevent the loss of community facilities.

Parents from some schools have already organised action groups to oppose closure.

Coventry City Council wants to cut more than 2,000 places by 2005 to prevent the number of surplus places in the city growing to more than 5,000.

A consultation paper is being distributed to all those affected by the plans in advance of the meetings.

Cllr George Duggins cabinet member (Education and Libraries) said:

“The consultation process on these proposals can now begin and we can start discussions as to how we can reduce surplus places in primary schools in the city.

“We hope that there will be a high attendance at the consultation meetings to ensure a meaningful dialogue with the community about these proposals - and if people have their own ideas about how the problem can be tackled then we want to hear them.”

He added that the council will consider all the responses received by the end of the consultation period at the end of March before making firm proposals to be published as Statutory Notices in May.

There is then a further two-month period during which objections to the proposals can be registered.

If statutory objections to the proposals are received it will be a matter for the School Organisation Committee (SOC) to decide subject to them reaching a unanimous agreement.

If the SOC is unable to reach a unanimous agreement it will be referred to the adjudicator for a decision.

The dates of the meetings, which are all at 7pm, are as follows:

Eburne: Tuesday 6 February

Wood End: Thursday 8 February

Stanton Bridge: Tuesday 13 February

St Patrick's: Tuesday 13 February

St Augustine's: Tuesday 27 February

Howes: Tuesday 27 February

St Benedict's: Wednesday 28 February

Sir Henry Parkes: Tuesday 6 March

Alderman Harris: Wednesday 7 March

Annie Osborn: Tuesday 13 March

St Mary's: Thursday 15 March

Limbrick Wood: Tuesday 20 March

Corpus Christi: Thursday 22 March

St Anne's: Wednesday 28 March

A further meeting at Elm Bank Teachers Centre, Mile Lane will be arranged in late March for those not able to attend on the dates listed above.


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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 30 Jan 01
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