Parklands High School set to close

Parklands High School in Liverpool is set to close at the end of August 2014.

The recommendation to the council’s Cabinet on Friday 21 March follows an unsuccessful drive to reverse a slide in pupil numbers, which have been declining steadily over the last few years.

There are currently only 198 pupils at the 916 place school, meaning almost 80 percent of desks are empty.

Only 34 children have applied for places at the Speke school in September 2014 – a fall of more than half compared to 2008 when the intake was 84.

Exam results have also remained significantly lower than other Liverpool schools – with just 32 percent of pupils getting five good GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 58 percent across the rest of the city.

Education watchdog OFSTED placed the school in special measures following a recent inspection, meaning the city council has had to examine options for its future.

Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said: “Closing a school is always a matter of great sadness, but with only one in five desks occupied at Parklands there are simply not enough pupils attending to make it viable.

“It is a real shame that we have not been able to make any other option stack up, and I know this will be upsetting for everyone who has been involved in exhausting every single option to try and make the school sustainable over the years.

“Sadly, we are now at the stage where the numbers are so low that it is not able to offer a full curriculum, and this is simply not in the best interests of the pupils.

 “I would like to thank staff for their hard work and commitment to the school, and the parents, carers and pupils for the way in which they have conducted themselves during the consultation, and for making a positive contribution.

 “We will work with pupils, parents and carers to find places at other schools and ensure a smooth transition, and are also looking at how we can help with transport and uniform costs.

 “We will also be working with teaching staff to help them secure alternative employment.”

 It is being proposed that the school close in August 2014 with pupils transferring to others in the area including ESLA (Enterprise South Liverpool Academy), St Julies and Gateacre.