Strange: Why proceed with a consultation on closing Lyndale School when the reason for closing it no longer exists?

Strange: Why proceed with a consultation on closing Lyndale School when the reason for closing it no longer exists?

Strange: Why proceed with a consultation on closing Lyndale School when the reason for closing it no longer exists?

                                         

The Cheshire Cat from Disney's Alice in Wonderland (the 1951 version)
The Cheshire Cat from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (the 1951 version) which seemed about the only image that seemed ideal for this story about Lyndale School and Wirral Council

First, if you’ve been away on holiday the past two months a recap on what’s happened so far in a saga that’s seems to quickly becoming as complicated as the plot to the Lord of the Rings.

It starts with a proposal to Wirral Council’s Cabinet by Wirral Council officers to consult on closing Lyndale School. At the same meeting Wirral Council’s officers also proposed introducing a new system for funding “high needs” students where from 2014-15 extra funding to schools would be determined by which one of five bands that school’s pupils were categorised as being in. There was an emotional plea made to councillors on the Cabinet by Dawn Hughes (who has a child at the school) not to agree to consult on closure of Lyndale School (which was reported on this blog). However Labour councillors on Wirral Council’s Cabinet decided to both agree to consult on closing Lyndale School and also the banding proposals too.

It’s important at this stage to state the reasons given back in January for consulting on closing Lyndale School by Wirral Council officers, which are detailed both in the minutes and the report.

Here are some quotes from the report (although at this point in time some of these purported facts have been found to be factually incorrect).

“The closure of the Lyndale School is proposed for consideration because the viability of the school is compromised by its small size and falling roll, which both contribute to a difficult financial position.”

“In 2013-14 the school has set a budget for the year based on School Funding of £761,733 with a small deficit of £3,647. This was achieved using all accumulated balances brought forward of £51,707. The latest position indicates there will be deficit at the year end of £15,667. This has resulted from changes in staff costs and support services.”

“In 2014-15 the school forecast, before any corrective action, is that there would be a deficit of £72,000. This deficit has the potential to increase to in excess of £232,000 based on the numbers of children currently on the school roll.”

“This means that for 2014-15 the shortfall the school may experience will be approximately £72,000 for the year based on the number currently on school roll. This is approximately 9% of their budget.”

What this report in January didn’t