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Cash-strapped school to close second site and move pupils

By Richard Guttridge | Rugeley | News | Published:

A secondary school has revealed plans to close one of its sites and bring all pupils under one roof to save money.

The Hart School, Penkridge Bank, Rugeley

The Hart School in Rugeley wants to close its upper school and shift older pupils to its lower school site.

A consultation has been launched with parents as the secondary school said it could no longer afford to run the two sites.

The Hart was formed by the merger of Hagley Park and Fair Oak Schools, which were split into the upper and lower sections in a bid to provide more targeted education.

It attracted headlines last year after 120 pupils were placed into isolation for wearing trainers.

Under its cost-cutting plans, year 10 and 11 pupils would move from the upper school, formerly Hagley Park on Burnthill Lane, to the lower school, which was Fair Oak School, in Penkridge Bank Road, from September.

Challenging

A letter to parents from principal Chris Keen said of the plans: “With effect from September 2018, it is our intention to bring together the pupils of the lower and upper school sites, including the sixth form, onto one improved campus,which will be based at the current lower school.

"While we recognise this represents a change to the school, it also builds on the progress made as a result of the merger of Fair Oak and Hagley Park.

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“While acknowledging the benefit of running both upper and lower schools, the costs of operating two sites is financially challenging. Our resources need to be focused on helping our pupils to succeed, providing more and better resources for their learning, rather than maintaining underused buildings and grounds across two sites.”

The news has not gone down well with everyone.

One parent said: “It was only three years ago that us parents received letters advising us how they planned to separate the students and have a higher and lower school. We were advised this was in the best interests of the students, that teachers could spend more time concentrating on the students who were in their GCSE years.

“Now suddenly two years after the change we receive another letter to advise that in the best interests of the students it has been decided to now just have one school.

“So, in a matter of six years we will have gone from three schools to just one in Rugeley.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Deputy Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Deputy Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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