Francis Bacon School to close under radical proposals

A RADICAL proposal has been put forward to close Francis Bacon school in order to alleviate pressure on primary school places in St Albans.

Herts County Council revealed today (Tuesday) that it is starting a formal consultation on the plans to create a new school on the site for three to 19-year-old pupils.

Under the proposal Francis Bacon, which came out of Special Measures last year, would close in September 2011 and the new facility opened.

Speaking after a meeting of the board of governors at the school on Monday, Richard Thake, executive member for education and skills, said: “Francis Bacon School is performing satisfactorily academically and has improved rapidly since being removed from Special Measures by Ofsted.

“However, it has been unable to attract enough pupils to allow it to maintain and extend this improvement.

He added: “We know that our proposals will create uncertainty but we are confident that they are in the best interests of Francis Bacon’s current pupils and education in St Albans as a whole.

“I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of Francis Bacon’s headteacher, staff, pupils and governors who have worked hard to improve the school over the last few years.”

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Chair of Governors at the school, Carole Connelly, said: “We are proud of the young people in Francis Bacon and the progress the headteacher and staff have made to date and are delighted that the local authority recognises that.

“It is unfortunate that this great progress has not resulted in increased admissions. The Governing Body accepts the logic of the need to have a creative and forward thinking solution to this issue and is keen to work with the local authority to ensure the best possible outcome for students of Francis Bacon and the community.”

There are currently 123 open places remaining at Francis Bacon for the forthcoming academic year.