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Uncertainty over Alderman Blaxill School site future
4:00pm Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News
THE fight may not be over for Colchester’s Alderman Blaxill school.
Hopes have been raised the secondary school, in Shrub End, may not close in 2014, after it was revealed the Stanway School wants to open a second campus on the site.
However, it has been revealed Essex County Council is not behind the plans and does not believe Colchester will need another secondary school before 2017. Instead, it is launching a consultation for residents to have their say on the provision of education in the town in the next few months.
Stephen Castle, Essex county councillor responsible for education, said: “There is no need for further provision on there before 2017.
“We took the decision to close Alderman Blaxill because there weren’t the numbers to keep the school viable.
“We are now moving towards a broad consultation where we look at what in general we think needs to happen.
“It won’t be the specifics of this school or that school will open or close.
“But we could be asking questions like: ‘Do we need more educational places in that part of Colchester?’ “I can see educational provision coming back on to that site in the future, but I don’t believe it will be before 2017.”
Last week the Gazette revealed governors at Alderman Blaxill and the Stanway School, which are run in partnership with Thomas Lord Audley, are discussing plans to open a second campus at Alderman Blaxill when it closes in 2014.
It is believed a bid may be finalised to the Government by September.
Philip Morant school is also interested in the site.
Mr Castle said Essex County Council was focusing on working with parents and schools to find out what they want.
He said: “I’m looking at increasing the choice of secondary schools in Colchester. People might want something different to what we have already.
“It’s about talking to people and listening.”
Mr Castle said details about the consultation on secondary education in Colchester will be announced in the coming weeks.