Parents reassured over immediate future of Sandy school after funding cut

PUBLISHED: 15:47 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 June 2018

The mansion house at Sandye Place Academy in Sandy. Picture: Tom (orangeaurochs) via Flickr

The mansion house at Sandye Place Academy in Sandy. Picture: Tom (orangeaurochs) via Flickr

Archant

Parents at a Sandy academy have today been reassured about the school’s immediate future after the government terminated its funding agreement.

A joint letter – from the executive governors at Sandye Place Academy, the school’s headteacher and the Central Bedfordshire Council director of children’s services – stresses that the news does not mean it is definitely closing.

The council has assured parents that if Sandye Place does close, it will not be until September 2019 – and that all pupils will have access to alternative places at good local schools if this happens.

A spokeswoman today issued a statement on behalf of the school and council, saying: “Following the issue of a Termination Warning Notice from the Department for Education to terminate the funding agreement of Sandye Place Academy, we have today written to the parents and carers of our pupils to update them on this situation.

“The decision to issue a TWN was made because of the academy receiving an Ofsted inadequate judgement. Further, there is a surplus of places, particularly in the middle year groups, which has threatened the viability of Sandye Place.

“While this news from the DfE does not mean closure of the school, it does mean that it is a possible outcome.

“We are united in our commitment to support everyone as much as we can. Should the DfE decide to proceed with termination, they will hold a listening period during which all stakeholders will be able to put their views on the proposed closure to the Secretary of State.”

In March this year, the school received an inadequate Ofsted rating based on visits last December, with the chief inspector urging special measures in his summary.

More than 800 people have signed a petition to have the schools age range increased from 13 up to 16 in a bid to reinvigorate the academy.

One of the those to sign was Nicola Chapman, who said: “Most parents support the school even after the Ofsted report as they know their child is progressing well. This school has been a huge part of the community for many years, and the education and wellbeing of each student is at the forefront on the school’s mind.”

Any parent who has concerns about their child’s future placements should contact the council’s admissions team by phone on 0300 300 8037 or email at admissions@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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With GCSE results day taking place next Thursday (August 23), it’s time for students to start thinking about what’s next. Sixth form is not the only option; there’s a range of courses and qualifications out there, and a further education college can help prepare you for the next stage in your education or career.

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