The School Adjudicator has ruled that the school closures should not go ahead. Clearly there’s going to be some rushing around at Trafford Council to enable the cricket ground to get its hands on the receipt from the land sale. As it stands, Stretford High will keep the land and there’s suggestion in the ruling that they’d like to get their own hands on the £21m although there’s also hints within the adjudication that compromise could be reached.
Essentially, the School Adjudicator has said the prospect of new funds from the Government as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme doesn’t in itself provide grounds for closing the schools, both of which have received recent positive Ofsteds.
Those positive Ofsteds and the fact that parents have really got behind the two schools as separate and valued establishments in their own right give a real cause for optimism. Lostock’s numbers have been hit by the uncertainty over its future. But some of its facilities are 2nd to none, especially in performing arts, and with its best ever academic performance, there’s no reason for it not to flourish. It’s going to have to get its marketing right, but it has a lot going for it.
This is a very positive decision.