Dorset County Council last week announced their intention to collapse the current 3-tier system of schools in Purbeck to 2-tiers. They have given local residents until just February 25th to raise objections to these proposals.
For Swanage this will force the closure of the increasingly thriving Middle School, of St Marks First School and of Swanage First School.
From age 11 all Swanage children will be forced to make a 20 mile daily round trip to an enlarged Secondary School in Wareham. How many parents will still view Swanage as a viable place to raise their children and what will this do to the future of Swanage as a sustainable community ?
Pupils of the two threatened first schools will have to drive across town to a new large Primary school that DCC propose to build on the Middle School site (where access and parking are already a major problem).
This, together with equivalent closures of the other 3 Middle schools in the area, will cost at least £75 million but save just £400k per year (these are DCC figures), a payback of 188 years. Council Tax bills will doubtless bear the brunt of this cost for many years to come.
The fastest way to express your views on this is to complete DCC's online feedback questionnaire at www.dorsetforyou.com/purbeckreview (click on the “Future school provision in the Purbeck area questionnaire” link at the left hand side of the screen). You can also read their full proposals here.
An on-line petition to fight the closures has been set up at http://www.petition.co.uk/no_to_2-tier_system
Also you can email your views to email@example.com and Cllr Hiett is said to be keen to hear local residents' views on this matter at firstname.lastname@example.org
DCC have arranged just one public meeting in Swanage to discuss their plans, on Wednesday 28th January, 7.30pm at Swanage Bay View Caravan Park.
Please help make sure everyone in Swanage is aware of the threat to our schools and of the urgent need to make their views known before February 25th !
Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 9:24 AM