Conservative councillors in both Keynsham and Bath have welcomed a report by Council Officers in Bath and North East Somerset detailing recommendations for Secondary School reorganisation in the area. The recommendations from council officials are to be presented to a B&NES Cabinet meeting for a final decision on the 21st July.
Councillors in Keynsham have welcomed the report’s recommendation to keep Broadlands School open. With three-quarters of Broadlands pupils travelling in from Bristol, the council had consulted Keynsham residents on proposals for closing Broadlands and instead retaining an enlarged Wellsway School.
However, Conservative Councillors representing electoral wards across Keynsham have argued that maintaining two schools in the town provides more choice for parents and that closing Broadlands would not raise educational standards as Ofsted grades both schools equally.
Conservative councillors representing the Weston and Lambridge areas of Bath have also welcomed the Officer recommendations. The proposals would mean retaining Larkhall’s St Mark’s School by federating it with St Gregory’s School, and seeking to ensure that Oldfield School, which serves many parents in Weston, Southdown and Twerton, serve a greater number of local children by making it mixed-sex.
Keynsham Councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) said:
“My fellow Keynsham councillors and I welcome this recommendation to keep Broadlands School open. This news will be received with relief by residents across Keynsham who have clearly demonstrated their wish to keep Broadlands open. After listening carefully to arguments both for having just one school serving Keynsham and for retaining Broadlands, it’s clear that having two schools is the best option for our town, providing more choice for local parents. We will be arguing this case at the Cabinet Meeting next week when the final decision will be taken.”
Lambridge Councillor Bryan Chalker (Cons, Lambridge), whose ward includes Larkhall in Bath, commented:
“Local residents in Larkhall and the wider area will be extremely pleased by the recommendation to improve standards of local education by federating St Mark’s School with St Gregory’s. This will mean retaining a school at the St Mark’s site. Having spoken with many local residents battling to keep this school open, I believe this is by far the best option for our local secondary school and will ensure a first-class education for children in the area.”
Cllr Malcolm Lees (Cons, Weston), who represents the Weston area of Bath, added:
“It’s clear that there is a strong demand for more mixed-sex school places in Bath to provide more choice for local parents. After attending public meetings discussing the proposals for Oldfield School it’s evident that residents in Weston want to see Oldfield become a mixed-sex school. My fellow Weston councillor Colin Barrett and I firmly support proposals to make Oldfield mixed sex and hope the school meets this clear demand from parents.”