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Governors take legal advice over Deanes School closure
10:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in Echo News
THE chairman of governors at Deanes School, Thundersley is taking legal advice about the decision by Essex County Council to close the school.
Ian Rudd spoke for the first time about the “bewildering situation” the school is in.
Parents, pupils and staff at the school were left shellshocked onMonday after Ray Gooding, Essex county councillor for education, took the decision to shut the school despite a committee report saying it should be saved.
Mr Rudd said the board of 16 governors will meet on Tuesday to consider its response to the decision.
He said: “We have to be concerned for the staff and pupils and we need to consider what sort of action we should take.
“If we’d met this week there would be so much anger, we need time to reflect, consider, take legal advice, which we are doing, then plan our next steps.
“The academy route is still on the table and being explored, as is the free school route.”
He believes they could open an academy or free school within four months, but fears it could take up to three years to get the plan approved.
Deanes is earmarked to close on August 31, 2016.
Mr Rudd said: “The period of stress has been significant and we have been very sorry for the head and her senior leadership team. All the staff have been affected. It’s their jobs and livelihoods. Their professional expertise has been called into question no matter what anyone says.
“The scrutiny report bears out what everyone has said – it’s a good school, if there is a dip in numbers the local authority are foolish to stand by and just close it.”
Mr Rudd believes the closure of the Deanes will lead to the land being used to create a residential hub for children with special needs.
However, Mr Rudd also thinks the county council’s cabinet could still save the school.
He added: “If a politician gets it into his mind he needs to do something, it seems difficult to deter him, but the Commons has shown it is possible to stop a Prime Minister and it may be Mr Gooding’s colleagues in the cabinet may still say ‘you got it wrong’.”
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