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Wednesday, 08 July 2015

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School looks to the future after reprieve from closure

CAPTAIN Shaw’s School has been saved from closure and now options – including applying for academy status – are being looked at to secure its future.

hip, hip, hooray: Campaigners celebrating after hearing Captain Shaw's School has been saved

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet met last Thursday, where it rejected proposals to close the school.

The U-turn follows a notice to close the school which was issued in January. Now the community is being given time to turn the school around.

Abby Hardwick, a parent governor at the school, said: “We have had a relaxing weekend and a little celebration, but we are ready to move forward with plans for the future.

“The next thing we need to do is to sit down and plan the direction we want to take the school. We want to get the message out there that we are here, and we’re here to stay.

“We want to be a good school with a good standard of education – now we have the freedom and the confidence to do that.

“Now we’re no longer under threat, we want to get on with doing what we want to do.”

She said governors will now be looking at the possibility of the school becoming an academy.

“What we have now is the time to go through the process properly, rather than rushing to get everything sorted by July. We now have the chance to talk to other schools about the academy process and to see if we can work with other schools to become a joint academy. This is only a possibility at the moment.”

Governors will also look at the continued fundraising for the school.

“We shall be looking at major fundraising initiatives to make sure that we keep the school budget afloat.”

A community party is set to take place at the school next Friday. Mrs Hardwick says it will be a chance to thank everyone for their support and hard work and to ask for their continuing support.

“We have been given a reprieve, but we have to make things happen,” she said.

She said “it was the most amazing feeling” when staff and governors found out the school had been saved.

Mrs Hardwick said: “We are absolutely delighted with the decision for the school to stay open.”

Copeland MP Jamie Reed had backed the campaign from the beginning and managed to secure a parliamentary debate on the future of the school.

He backed the governors’ plans to rebuild the school and safeguard its future.

Mr Reed said: “This is the right decision and it’s a massive tribute to the hard work of all of those governors, parents, teachers and pupils who worked so hard to achieve this.

“It’s a tremendous result for Bootle and the surrounding area and the community can now breathe a sigh of relief and build towards a better future. It’s also a triumph for democracy. The lesson from this to everyone is clear; don’t take remote bureaucratic decisions lying down, get involved if you want to change things.”

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