Collenswood: Council says we made blunders

PUBLISHED: 11:45 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

HERTFORDSHIRE County Council has admitted it is partly responsible for what went wrong at Collenswood School. Justin Donovan, deputy director of learning and school effectiveness at the county council, said Barnwell School would continue to use the Colle

HERTFORDSHIRE County Council has admitted it is partly responsible for what went wrong at Collenswood School.

Justin Donovan, deputy director of learning and school effectiveness at the county council, said Barnwell School would continue to use the Collenswood site "at least for the first few years".

He said improvements at the school have not been fast enough and the school's declining examination results, falling pupils numbers and financial pressures have led to the proposed closure.

He said: "We [the council] are partly responsible for what went wrong at the school."

He even admitted that with hindsight the school should have closed a year ago.

But he admitted the decision was not for officers to make and councillors would make the final decision in February.

Many parents believe the decision is "a done deal" and one parent asked Mr Donovan at the consultation meeting what plan B would be if the proposals do not go ahead.

He said plan B would be keeping Collenswood open but with stronger management or the possibility of a federation between Collenswood and Barnwell.

He said Barnwell School is a successful school which is "moving in the right direction".

Head of Barnwell School Richard Westergreen-Thorne said if the proposals go ahead he would work extremely hard to make sure all the children receive a good education.

He said the number of classes will increase but class sizes will not and should stay between 20 and 30.

He told the meeting should proposals go through he would like to meet with parents and students to find out how they would like to proceed.

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