Troubled Rotherham school is saved from closure

Save Abbey School campaigners and students celebrate
Save Abbey School campaigners and students celebrate
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A troubled Rotherham school has been saved from closure after council bosses reversed their decision.

Rotherham Council had planned to shut Abbey School in Kimberworth following a damning inspection report which rated it as inadequate.

The school, which teaches 87 children with a range of learning and behavioural difficulties, has suffered disruption since a staff restructuring programme was introduced in 2013.

Parents and staff held protests and teachers took strike action over claims there had been an increasing number of violent incidents involving pupils.

The ongoing consultation into the closure plans has now been scrapped and councillors have agreed to keep the school open.

The council has agreed the school will offer 60 places, instead of the original 105, to pupils aged between seven and 16 who have moderate learning difficulties.

A report to councillors said: “Given the positive impact of the current reduction in pupil numbers an alternative option would be to retain the school but reduce the number of planned places from 105 to 60 so that recent progress made can be sustained and built upon.”

The report added that some staff ‘would potentially be at risk of redundancy’ as a result of the school’s reduced size.

UKIP general election candidate Jane Collins, who wrote to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education on behalf of parents, said: “I am disappointed some school places have been lost, but I think a valuable community resource has been saved. The parents of Abbey School have shown, with determination and support, people can directly influence their community.”