Rydon leaders await academy decision despite council plans to close college

Protest march leaving Rydon Community College in objection to plans. Pic Steve Robards  SR1603814 SUS-160602-120722001
Protest march leaving Rydon Community College in objection to plans. Pic Steve Robards SR1603814 SUS-160602-120722001

Rydon leaders have insisted they will go ahead with plans to convert the community college into an academy.

Chairman of governors Alan Brien made the announcement hours after West Sussex County Council said the college would close and the site used to house Thakeham First School and Year 7 and 8 pupils at Steyning Grammar School.

Mr Brien said: “ We are very sorry that the county council at a local level has chosen to confirm its proposal to close Rydon from the end of August next year.

“However, we want to reassure all our parents, supporters and the local community that this decision will have no impact on our bid to become an academy from November this year.

“Our application, submitted in May this year, has been scrutinised by the Department of Education and the granting of an academy order is now awaiting a final decision at a very senior level within the department.

“We hope to hear the outcome very shortly and will then be in a better position to discuss the way forward with everyone concerned about secondary education in Storrington.”

The decision to close Rydon was made as part of the reorganisation of schools in the Storrington area – known locally as STARS.

The reorganisation was necessary to bring the schools in line with the Key Stages of the National Curriculum.

The rest of the county – and most of the country – sees children transfer to secondary schools at the end of Key Stage 2, when they are 11 years old.

In the STARS area, children go through a middle school stage between the ages of 10 and 13 before moving up to secondary school.

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