Learning centres closure is agreed

DONCASTER’S two City Learning Centres at Balby and Scawthorpe look certain to close after Doncaster Council’s cabinet backed the move.

The council decided to close the sites, which provide computer training for the community, after the £750,000-a-year funding for the schemes ceased to be available.

Cabinet member for education, Coun Eric Tatton-Kelly, said the funding was no longer available, and the proposal was to use the buildings for an alternative purpose.

He said the centres had been set up using dedicated Government funding which came to an end last month.

The centres employed six staff, and alternative jobs have been found for four of those workers.

No schools were interested in running the centres independently without Government money.

Under the plans approved by the cabinet, the Doncaster North centre would transfer to Don Valley School. The South centre would be handed over to Balby Carr School.

But there would also be a land transfer to the council as part of the deal.

It has been suggested that a key stage three behaviour centre may be sited at Balby Carr as part of the arrangement.

Approving the closure of the centres, Mayor Peter Davies said no-one seemed to want to take over the two centres.

He said: “I don’t see a problem.

“There is clearly no demand for this sort of thing as far as the two schools are concerned.

“We are very close to a deal with Balby Carr, but had to get something in return to fulfil the requirements of the funding agreement.

“We would like to see the key stage three centre for behaviour based there.

“Both heads have said they would prefer a transfer of buildings to their schools, and that appears to be the logical approach to this problem.”

Room hire agreements in the South building would be honoured until December 31.