Declares that Croxteth Community Comprehensive, a specialist college for business and enterprise, has been earmarked for closure; notes that the college plays a vital role in the local community; and further declares that the proposed closure of the college would be highly detrimental to the local community and at odds with Liverpools role as the European Capital of Culture.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to take action and engage with the local authorities to ensure that Croxteth Community Comprehensive remains open and continues to be able to serve its community.
Government appreciates that proposals to change local school provision can be upsetting and often unsettling for those involved. However, school place planning is the statutory responsibility of the Local Authority (LA). This includes making sure there are sufficient school places, and also removing surplus places when this is required. To facilitate this, LAs have the power to propose the closure of any type of maintained mainstream school.
Where the LA proposes to make any changes to local school provision, including closure, they must follow a statutory process, which is then decided under established local decision making arrangements. Government has no direct role in the process.
As part of its Building Schools for the Future programme Liverpool LA is planning to reorganise its school provision. Croxteth Community Comprehensive School was proposed for closure because of, among other things, its poor academic standards and it being consistently and significantly undersubscribed. There are currently only 462 pupils on roll (Capacity is 875) and this is expected to fall below 300 by 2015.
On 13 February 2009, having followed the statutory process, the proposals to close the school were approved and the LA is now under a duty to implement the proposals. We understand that the closure was originally planned for 2010, but that this has subsequently been modified to 2012.
Declares that the proposed closure of Carlett Park Campus, a major site of Wirral Metropolitan College, would have a detrimental effect on current further education provision in South Wirral and beyond, would present difficulties to those wishing to pursue further education courses at Wirral Metropolitan College, fails to take account of the history and local importance of the site, and would discriminate against those whose circumstances dictated against travelling to an alternative site further away from the Carlett Park campus.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to make representations to Wirral Metropolitan College to encourage the continued existence of the Carlett Park site.
As with any business, further education colleges will continue to reassess their future position and the local circumstances in which they operate. They will want to continue to ensure that they can respond to changing needs of the community and the demands of learners and employers. This may result in some colleges reviewing their mission, their organisation, the models of delivery and the long-term sustainability of colleges sites.
As colleges are independent institutions, matters relating to the policy and operation of a college are matters for the governing body. As such it is for the college governing body to make decisions on the future of a site or campus for which a college has responsibility.
Declares that the proposed closure of the University of Cumbrias Ambleside Campus to undergraduate students in 2012 would be a huge blow to the town of Ambleside and would remove opportunities from future generations of students.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills to place pressure on the University of Cumbria to ensure the viability of Ambleside Campus for all students and to scrap the plans for its closure to undergraduate students.
I understand the concerns that have been raised about the University of Cumbrias plans for its Ambleside site. I do not believe that this is a matter in which Government should seek to intervene. Universities are autonomous bodies. It is right that they should be free to manage their estates to support the mission and
economic needs of their institution. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is aware of the Universitys plans for its estate.
I welcome the commitment of the university to work with local partners as it develops its plans. I note that it has no plans to cut its provision overall, and that it will relocate all the courses it currently runs at Ambleside to other sites. I also note that the university proposes to use the Ambleside campus for the benefit of its postgraduate students, who are an important part of the universitys life. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is aware of the universitys plans for its estate.