Executive approves proposal to bring forward Brewers Hill closure date
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive has approved a decision to bring forward the closure of Brewers Hill Middle School.
The Dunstable middle school was originally due to close in August 2017 but date has been brought forward due to falling pupil numbers at the school. Brewers Hill will now close in August 2016, in line with two other middle schools in the town – Ashton and Streetfield.
The closures were approved by the council’s Executive in August 2014 following a number of schools in the area applying to change age range and becoming primary and secondary schools. It led to a significant drop in the number of pupils attending the three remaining middle schools and meant they were no longer educationally or financially viable.
The closing date for Brewers Hill was deferred due to uncertainty over nearby Beecroft Academy’s application to convert to a primary school being approved by the Department for Education.
Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “The proposal to bring forward the closure date is based on current pupil numbers making it financially unviable to keep the school open until August 2017.
“Due to Beecroft only receiving permission to convert to a primary school on 3 June 2015, it wasn’t until the start of the current academic year that definite Year 5 numbers were known at Beecroft and Brewers Hill.
“Parents and carers of current Brewers Hill pupils and staff at the school were consulted on proposals to bring forward the closure date; no responses were received by the close of the consultation.
“The council and school have already offered extensive support to parents and carers of all children around understanding their options to transfer to another school should the closure date be brought forward.
“Beecroft Academy has sufficient capacity to accommodate current Year 5 pupils, and there are sufficient local places for children who would be transferring to secondary schools.
“This support has been widely welcomed and we will continue to provide support to the school on all levels to ensure that it continues to provide the high-quality standard of education which it is currently doing. Our primary concern remains the education of the children.”
The Brewers Hill site is owned by the council. No decisions have been made as to its future use, although it is likely to be retained for educational use.