Surplus school places to be cut

MAYOR Peter Davies has warned he will act to slash thousands of surplus school places across the borough.

He made the warning as parents campaigning to save Marshland Primary School in Moorends from closure were given a glimmer of hope when the proposal to shut it was taken off the agenda for yesterday’s Doncaster Council cabinet meeting.

Mr Davies said he had been given more information to discuss before a decision was made which had not been available until now.

He said it would be ludicrous to make a decision without full awareness of the facts, and the matter would now go before the next cabinet meeting.

But he warned: “There are in Doncaster thousands of surplus school places - it is another problem which has not been addressed by previous administrations.

“Given the financial climate, that cannot go on indefinitely. If people don’t want to send pupils to a particular school, there is nothing we can do about it.

“We have got too many empty places and it is something that’s got to be addressed, and as usual, we are the first administration for a long time to do that.

“I warn everyone in Doncaster this situation cannot go on. Us or academies will have to face this problem and it seems better to deal with it sooner rather than later.

“We cannot keep wasting money on schools that people do not want to go to.”

Worried parents have collected hundreds of signatures on a petition opposing the closure of Marshland Primary School.

Campaigner and mum Kendra Bissell said: “I’m encouraged that it was pulled from the meeting because it means they are going to look at it properly rather than riding roughshod over our views.”

Campaigners say although the school is currently in special measures, they believe it should be given time to turn around. They say Ofsted has told the school it is making satisfactory progress towards exiting special measures.