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Closure date decision over doomed Sneyd Community School

Walsall | News | Published:

A doomed secondary school in Bloxwich would run up a shortfall of up to £400,000 if it remained open into 2012, it emerged today.

A doomed secondary school in Bloxwich would run up a shortfall of up to £400,000 if it remained open into 2012, it emerged today.

Walsall education bosses said the deficit at Sneyd Community School would have to be met from the borough-wide budget, reducing funding for other schools and pupils.

It was also revealed today that there are now just 228 pupils at the school in Vernon Way — down from 899 in 2008 as a result of closure plans. Closure of the school and its eventual transformation are planned.

Walsall Council's decision-making cabinet is expected to bring the closure of Sneyd forward from September 1 2012 to September 1 2011 at a meeting next Wednesday.

The school is then set to be transformed into the country's first University Technology College in a multi-million pound project.

If the earlier closure of Sneyd is approved, the school's Year 8 and Year 9 pupils would be given a one-off sum of £50 to pay for uniforms for their new schools. Walsall Children's Services is also considering paying for some pupil's home-to-school travel.

Fifteen members of staff are facing redundancy as a result of the axe falling.

A new report has been produced giving an update on the closure process for the council's children and young people scrutiny panel.

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It reads: "Based upon the current staffing complement and resources available for the 2011/11 academic year, the school should remain solvent until August 31 2011.

"However, this is not the case should the school remain open for a further academic year. The school's budget for the last months, that is April to August 2012, would be based on a maximum of 40 pupils.

"The funding generated by such low pupil numbers could provide a shortfall of up to £400,000, dependant on how many of the current remained at the school until the end of August 2012."

The University Technology College is now poised to open on September 1 next year after getting further Government backing. The engineering college, which would cater to 480 Walsall students , would see the re-modelling of Sneyd.

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