Consultation on the cards to decide future of troubled Burnley high school

A public consultation is set to be held on a Burnley high school that has been plagued by problems since it opened 11 years ago.

Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 9:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:34 pm
A consultation looks set to take place on the future of troubled Hameldon Community College in Burnley

Lancashire County Council announced the proposed public consultation on the future of Hameldon Community College in Burnley.

If approved by the county council's cabinet at its meeting on Thursday, August 10th, the consultation would begin a month later and run until 20 October 2017. Views would be sought from all interested parties.

County Coun. Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "Despite considerable efforts over many years to support Hameldon College, it has faced significant challenges.

"The number of pupils has reduced year on year, and there are now fewer than 300 pupils in a school built for 750.

"The school has also faced challenges in raising attainment, falling significantly below the required national minimum standards.

"Schools with falling rolls have reducing budgets which cause staffing problems, reduced subject options and ultimately lower pupil attainment.

"These circumstances mean that it is very difficult for Hameldon to provide pupils with the education they deserve, so we have to look closely at all of our options.

"We are committed to providing the best possible educational experience to all of our young people. If the proposal to consult is approved I would encourage everyone involved to let us have their views."

Mrs Alex Bird, chairman of governors at Hameldon Community College, said: "It is important to understand that at this stage the proposal is to hold a consultation. If it does go ahead, it is a consultation, and not a decision.

"If the proposal becomes reality we hope that people will share their views with us on how we can provide the best education possible for young people in this area.”

If the proposal to consult is approved, full details will be published, including information on how existing pupils would be provided with the best possible educational experience.

A series of consultation events will also be held.

The school opened in September, 2006 under the Building Schools for the Future programme when the former Ivy Bank and Habergham High schools were merged.

The school has enjoyed mixed fortunes, and in 2007 was placed into special measures by Ofsted.

Marked improvements were noted in 2009 when the school was taken out of special measures but in 2013 it was identified as having serious weaknesses by Ofsted.

Since then, dwindling student numbers have seen the school with now just 331 students in its £22m new building in Coal Clough Lane.