Following Michael Fabricant’s recent visit to Queen’s Croft School in
Lichfield and hearing the concerns of pupils, teachers, and parents over the
merger with Saxon Hill School (see news story of 14th May) , schools
minister, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, has told Michael that no firm
decision has been made by the County.
Michael Fabricant wrote to the minister stating that he shared the views of
parents concerning the merger and says that "it seems a cruel and heartless
change that will not benefit the education of either Queen’s Croft or Saxon
Hill students". The Minister in a reply to Michael Fabricant says that her
officials contacted the Staffordshire Local Education Authority (LEA) to
discover that "no firm decisions have been made about the future of any of
the Authority’s schools at the present time". She went on to say "LEAs
cannot arbitrarily decide to close a special school…… it has to consult
all interested parties including… the parents of pupils at the school".
Michael Fabricant says "The Minister has told me that the LEA alone cannot
make this decision. There is a School Organisation Committee and an
independent adjudicator who makes decisions where local agreement cannot be
reached. I urge parents to write to the LEA to register their concerns.
Baroness Ashton has also said that if necessary, Sue Mackenzie of the
Department of Education and Skills’ Special Educational Needs and Disability
Division would be happy to advise about the process. Concerned parents can
contact her on 020 7925 5523.
"I hope now that the County will think again about the merger of these two
excellent Lichfield schools." adds Michael Fabricant.