Mansfield’s struggling Vision Studio School now faces closure after a damning Ofsted inspection led to ‘a significant number of prospective students’ withdrawing applications.
A comment issued by the trust which runs the school, in Chesterfield Road South, said it was no longer financially viable to keep Vision – which was already struggling with reduced pupil numbers – open.
Letters have been sent to all families involved, and youngsters who were about to begin Year 10 have been told they’ll have to remain at their old schools.
Meanwhile, current and prospective students from Years 11 to 13 have been offered a place on the same course at West Nottinghamshire College – with those transferring receiving a comprehensive support package to ensure their successful transition, the statement says.
However, the trust is currently negotiating options with the Department for Education over the future of more than 30 Year 10 students, set to begin their GCSE year after the summer holidays..
The DfE may consider a ‘run-out’ year to provide these students with their education, but a formal decision is expected later this week.
A trust spokesman said: “The trust has reluctantly requested agreement from the Department for Education not to admit any further students to the studio school. This has been agreed.
“We recognise this decision will be hugely disappointing to students, parents, carers and staff. While it has not been taken lightly, we feel it is in the very best interests of young people and the wider community.
“Although the school has provided many young people with truly life-enhancing educational opportunities, regrettably the Ofsted outcome has compounded the difficulties in attracting enough students for it to continue.
“Governors and staff at the school deeply regret that this action has been necessary.
“We recognise that the timing is difficult; however, this is a complex matter and it was imperative we gave full consideration to all options before reaching a conclusion.
“We felt it was important to act swiftly once the decision had been made in order to give clarity to existing and prospective students.”
In May your Chad reported that an interim principal has been brought into the school, which specialises in vocational learning, following the damning inspection.
Vision was graded inadequate in all areas apart from it’s post-16 provision, which required improvement.
Principal Chris Hatherall stepped aside and was replaced by interim headteacher Jean Pickerill, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the Summer term.