Statement following Regional Schools Commissioner’s decision


Release date: 15 June 2020

In October last year we started a consultation on the future of five small schools, in accordance with the Department for Education guidance and our 2018 School Effectiveness Strategy.

After considering all of the information available, Cabinet decided in April to issue closure notices for Clapham & Patching and Rumboldswhyke Schools.

Following these decisions, applications were made, independent of the council, to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) to academise the two schools.

We have now been informed that these bids have been accepted and it is the RSC’s intention for both schools to become academies.

The Department for Education did not comment on and were not critical of the County Council’s work and planning in relation to school effectiveness but have simply responded to requests from individual academy sponsors.

The concerns we raised around the viability of the schools still stand and we remain committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of West Sussex schools.

We will continue to support the children and their schools and we look forward to working with the schools, the academy trusts and the RSC to support the process through the coming months.

We wish the children well in their future.

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