Review of Primary Places Phase 5: Area Reviews of Birkenhead, Beechwood, Noctorum and Prenton and Possible Relocation of Gilbrook Special School
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Further to minute 218 (16/10/08) the Director of Children’s Services presented a report on the progress of the Phase 5 Area Reviews of primary school places in the small planning areas of Central, South and North Birkenhead, Beechwood, Noctorum and Prenton. Meetings had been held with key stakeholders in each of these areas, and the report contained a summary of provision in each area together with recommendations for options for consultation. Options included:
(i) an option appraisal for the consolidation of Devonshire Park Primary School;
(ii) commencing consultations regarding the possible closure of Cathcart Street Primary School or Cole Street Primary School or the closure of both and the establishment of a new primary school on a single site;
(iii) commencing consultations regarding the possible closure of St Laurence’s Catholic School
Cabinet approval was also sought for consultations to be undertaken on the possible relocation of Gilbrook School from Birkenhead to Woodchurch.
A joint letter from the Head Teachers of Cathcart Street and Cole Street Primary Schools was circulated to the Cabinet and the Director responded to some of the points raised in the letter.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning remarked upon the need to respect the sensitivities around the issue of possible school closures but at the moment all that was being asked of the Cabinet was to agree to the start of a consultation process. All the issues raised in the Head Teachers’ letter could be addressed during the consultation exercise. The Director’s proposals should not be seen as a reflection on the standard of education provided in the schools referred to, all of which had excellent levels of achievement, but rather about the need to spend public money wisely.
On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, duly seconded, it was -
(1) That an option appraisal be undertaken regarding the consolidation of Devonshire Park Primary School into a single building.
(2) That consultations be undertaken regarding the following options for change in the North Birkenhead small planning area:
A - Closure of Cathcart Street Primary School
B - Closure of Cole Street Primary School
C - Closure of both Cathcart Street and Cole Street Primary Schools, linked to the establishment of a new Primary school on a single site
D - Closure of St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School
(3) That an option appraisal be undertaken regarding potential sites for a single primary school resulting from any of consultation options A, B and C.
(4) That consultations be undertaken regarding the transfer of Gilbrook School to the former premises of Arrowe Hill Primary School, Woodchurch.
(5) That the outcome of the consultation around the options set out in the report be reported back to Cabinet together with any further options that emerge during the consultation process.
(6) That the remaining Phase 5 small planning areas be reviewed again as necessary or through the usual review process.
Publication date: 03/06/2009
Date of decision: 28/05/2009
Decided at meeting: 28/05/2009 - Cabinet
Effective from: 11/06/2009