Call for talks over axed school building

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a DONCASTER primary school will close this summer – and now talks are planned aimed at keeping the building in community use.

Doncaster Council’s ruling cabinet rubber-stamped plans to shut Sycamore Primary School in Cantley after hearing pupil numbers have plummeted.

It will close despite being rated as a good school by Ofsted in November.

The closure was agreed despite a campaign from parents and residents to keep it open.

They collected more than 5,000 names on a petition calling for it to be spared the axe.

Now Bessacarr and Cantley ward Coun Paul Coddington said it was important to try to keep the building as an asset for the community.

He said: “I am disappointed that the school is to close, having been involved with meetings with parents who have been trying to keep it open.

“There will be a lot of parents who are disappointed that it is closing.

“We would certainly want to avoid it being allowed to go to ruin and the sooner something is decided the better.

“I’ve not had any talks yet but I would be keen to have discussions on the future of the building.”

Coun Coddington said he would like to see the site on St Wilfrid’s Road used as an alternative site for Cantley Library, which at present has no toilets or meeting room facilities.

Alternatively, he has raised the possibility of it serving as a base for council neighbourhood teams.

He said he had been disappointed when the previous Bessacarr College building, also in his ward, had not been given a community use when it closed.

Sycamore Primary School currently has a capacity of 203 but in May there were only 45 pupils on roll.

A council report stated: “The current position of the school is not sustainable from an educational or financial perspective.”

It is expected most pupils would join either Hatchell Wood or Hawthorn Primary Schools dependent on parental preference.