Reprieve on the cards for Skerton’s Year 10 pupils

Some of the Year 10 pupils at Skerton High School who will be mid-GCSEs when the school closes
Some of the Year 10 pupils at Skerton High School who will be mid-GCSEs when the school closes

Year 10 students at Skerton High School have been left in limbo amid plans for the doomed school to remain open for another year to teach them.

A proposal was first put forward by the county council suggesting Year 10 pupils could remain at the school until the end of their GCSEs next summer.

It was announced earlier this year that the school would close this summer due to falling numbers and poor grades.

Lancashire County Council indicated in its consultation document that there were adequate places for all students in other local schools and stated that those schools could cater for Year 10 students and allow them to carry on with their courses.

But many of the 28 students have struggled to find another secondary school which caters for their chosen GCSEs.

And head Chris Snell said pupils, parents and staff are still waiting to discover what will happen.

He said: “We have been asked to look at the school remaining open for Year 10.

“I will certainly do everything I can to make that happen.

“I will be putting together a timetable to see if it can be staffed so that the pupils can carry on with their chosen courses.

“It would at least provide some normality to the end of their studies.”

Mr Snell hopes an announcement will be made by the end of May.

He added: “Parents unanimously want this to happen.

“The children have felt quite unwanted. All the other pupils are sorting out their new schools but the most vulnerable group, half way through their GCSEs, are being left in limbo.

“It’s had an effect in school. Some of the children are particularly unsettled and are asking me every day what’s happening.”

Teachers were called to a meeting at the school on Tuesday to be told they were to be given redundancy notices.

However, some may have those notices retracted if the school remains open.

Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We have offered Year 10 parents the option for their children to complete Year 11 on the Skerton site and have had a positive response to that option, which would minimise disruption to their studies.

“We are in ongoing discussions with the school but until we have a definite, final number we will not be able to finalise the exact staffing arrangements for next year.

“Closing a school is always an extremely difficult process.

“We recognise that this has caused considerable uncertainty for everyone involved, especially the students, and we are working hard to finalise all arrangements as quickly as possible.”