Collenswood axed and more may follow

PUBLISHED: 11:44 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 06 May 2010

The protestors at County Hall

The protestors at County Hall

PARENTS campaigning to keep a school open have been left disappointed after councillors gave their support to the proposed closure. Members of the Collenswood Parents Action Group attended a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council s education panel at Co

PARENTS campaigning to keep a school open have been left disappointed after councillors gave their support to the proposed closure.

Members of the Collenswood Parents Action Group attended a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council's education panel at County Hall in Hertford yesterday (Wednesday).

The recommendation, to close Collenswood School and expand Barnwell, is expected to be approved at a meeting of the Cabinet on February 21.

There was a hint that more Stevenage secondary schools could be targeted for closure in the near future.

During the meeting Lindsay Martin, head of school access for the council, said it was foreseen that Stevenage should have "a smaller number of larger schools" in the future.

This would be looked at during a review of secondary schools which would start in March 2007.

Yesterday it was revealed that more than £750,000 has been ploughed into Collenswood School in Stevenage over a three-year period to try and improve standards.

Cllr Robert Gordon supported officers' recommendations saying: "Closing a school is always a sad and difficult issue but the education currently provided at Collenswood School does not give them the opportunities they should have. We have to do something which is clear and swift."

He said the proposals meant that good quality teachers at Collenswood had the opportunity to work at Barnwell but that those teachers who didn't "come up to the mark" would not.

The county councillors who make up the education panel unanimously agreed with the proposal.

Justin Donovan, deputy director of learning and school effectiveness, said the council do not have plans for the Collenswood land but he did say he would like to see the expanded Barnwell School as a "single site as quickly as possible".

Speaking after the meeting Linda Townsend, chair of the Collenswood Parents Action Group, said: "We are disappointed. We do not feel Barnwell School is a strong enough school to support Collenswood pupils.

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