Issue - meetings

Primary Review Review Phase 5

Meeting: 01/10/2009 - Cabinet (Item 141)

141 Review of Primary School Places - Phase 5 Planning Areas and Commencement of Phase 6 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

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(Councillor Foulkes having declared a prejudicial interest in this item (see minute 138) left the room during its consideration.)


The Director of Children’s Services advised the Cabinet of the outcome of the consultation process which had taken place in the North Birkenhead planning area in respect of the options for consultation agreed at Cabinet on 28 May 2009 (minute 9 refers). The report described the responses to the various options put forward for discussion, including additional suggestions put forward during the consultation process, and made recommendations with regard to statutory proposals in that area. The Director also introduced the beginning of Phase 6 of the Review and requested approval of an amendment to that phase.


With the permission of the Chair the following speakers addressed the Cabinet on the various proposals within the report:


  • Sister Patricia Goodstadt, Assistant Director of Schools for the Shrewsbury Diocese.
  • Councillor D Roberts, ward councillor for Claughton.
  • Val Chaderton, Headteacher of Cole Street Primary School
  • John Cocker, Chair of Governors of Cathcart Street Primary School


The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning brought to the Cabinet’s attention the views of Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, in particular his support for a new school while Government funds were available.


The Cabinet Member also remarked that the proposals should not be seen as a questioning of standards at Cole Street, Cathcart Street or St Laurence’s Primary Schools, as all three were excellent schools but rather as how best to deploy resources in the most effective way when there were not enough children to justify three schools in this part of Birkenhead. The opportunity should be taken again to look at the possible option of a new build school adjacent to Birkenhead Park to replace both Cole Street and Cathcart Street Primary Schools.


Councillor Holbrook commented that any money saved from the closure of schools would be ringfenced to increase the amount of money available to be spent on all children within the Borough.


On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor Holbrook, it was -


Resolved -


(1) That Cabinet agrees with the need to reduce surplus places in the North Birkenhead planning area and that this will require a reduction in the number of community primary schools by one.


(2) That Cabinet asks for a further report at the earliest opportunity which sets out a detailed options appraisal which looks at the relative merits with respect to:


(a) closure of Cole Street Primary School and retention of Cathcart Street Primary School;


(b) amalgamation of Cole Street Primary School and Cathcart Street Primary School in a new build school on a new site;


and seeks the views of parents, teachers and governors via a further short consultation exercise.


(3) Cabinet agrees to the closure of St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School from August 2010 and that statutory proposals be published in respect of this.


(4) That amendments be made to Phase 6 of the Primary Places Review:


(a) to move the Leasowe  ...  view the full minutes text for item 141