Doncaster primary school will not reopen in September the government has confirmed
The government has given notice that a Doncaster primary school will not reopen its doors for the new academic year in September.
The Secretary of State has given permission to Astrea Academy to close Hillside Primary in Denaby Main with immediate effect from August 31, 2021.
The 125 year lease on the grounds will cease and the buildings and land will return to Doncaster Council.
The decision earlier in the year to close the school sparked a backlash from parents and union GMB who said it was wrong to close the site during a pandemic.
The union added the move would put three teaching posts and 10 support staff roles at risk. It’s unclear if those staff members have been moved elsewhere within the trust.
Astrea Academy bosses said falling pupil numbers meant the school was ‘less than half full’ and that nearby schools had capacity to take on affected pupils.
It was agreed with the council that all pupils would be guaranteed a place at one of the trust’s other schools in the area, either at Castle Academy or at Denaby Main Academy.
The council carried out a consultation exercise and held a virtual publicmeeting with parents who were offered the option to apply for alternative schools which would then be considered in line with each school’s published admission arrangements.
Council bosses said that all allocations were completed and preferences met. Family groups ‘were not separated’.
Hillside Primary School converted to academy status in August 2016 and the council is not responsible for the finances at the school.
Neil McAllister, an officer within the children and young people department at Doncaster Council, said: “Further reports will be required to determine the future use of the site. No revenue budget exists for this land or building and any costs associated will be an immediate pressure against the budget.
"The council will inherit a vacant building which will need to be secured, protected and monitored.
“This will carry a monetary cost to the council to put these measures in place. This may require boarding up of the windows and doors etc either with wood or metal sheeting.
“A number of options are being considered for continued use of the site. The first of these must be for educational purposes and only if these are not appropriate, discussions would take place between the Secretary of State regarding alternative uses.”