Governors claim ‘bias’ over school closure

SCHOOL governors have written to a Minister complaining of bias in the handling of the proposed closure of a primary school.

Jacqui Sedman and James Hinde, two of the governors at Gembling Primary School, have asked Schools Minister David Laws to call in the closure, scheduled for August.

They say their response to consultation, a 20-page document, wasn’t included in a report to East Riding Council’s Cabinet, despite it being hand-delivered to council offices in Beverley. Mrs Sedman said: “In our view it was an extremely important document because it challenged the council officers’ claims and set out a rescue plan. Without that document we don’t feel the Cabinet could have made a proper decision.”

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The governors say the case for closure was made by officials using “extremely pessimistic pupil projection figures” which did not stand up to closer scrutiny.

At the meeting the Cabinet decided to proceed with closure proposals, announcing a further six-week “representation” period, before a final decision.

John Wilson, the council’s assistant director of children, family and adult services, said there was no record of the document having been hand-delivered on March 20.

He said: “The governing body at Gembling Primary School has not raised this apparent omission with us. As with all interested parties, if they wish to submit their document to the council, it will be included in the Cabinet paper that will be published when the representation period closes.”