The Department for Education has announced that the school opening has now been pushed back to Sept 2024 (2 year delay). The Multi Academy Trust which was due to run the school has had several of its school inspected as inadequate and the DFE are now looking for an alternative trust.
We are obviously very frustrated to hear about the delay in opening the new school at Ash and are concerned about the impact on our local children due to this. It is disappointing that the communication from the DFE to parents around the school is lacking. Parents were consulted at the start of the process but have not been kept informed of the plans and subsequent delays by the DFE.
We understand that students will continue to be or will be placed in mainstream schools but many of these schools are struggling to meet needs. We can see this from the increase in suspensions and exclusions we are seeing. The rates are the highest we have since we started in 2014.
We think there are bigger questions to be asked around the number of schools who are now going into requires improvement or inadequate following inspections and the impact this is having on finding suitable education. The combination of this and increased suspensions is impacting on families, and it is not unusual for us to hear that parents are having to give up work due to unstable education provision.
As a forum we have taken part in a radio interview to raise aware of this issue which you can listen to here (2 hours and 10 minutes in).
We will continue to raise these issues locally and nationally through the work of the NNPCF. We will provide you with updates as soon as we have any new information.