Voice your views on schools at risk of axe

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Parents, teachers and the whole community are urged to voice views on the closure threat hanging over three Dunstable middle schools.

Public consultations on the possible closure of Ashton Middle, Brewers Hill Middle and Streetfield Middle began on Monday, February 24.

Councillor Mark Versallion

Councillor Mark Versallion

Now the vital consultations will run for six weeks, until April 7.

Separate consultations are being held for each school.

Documents and response forms are available from those schools and from Central Beds Council’s website.

The website also features a short video from executive councillor Mark Versallion.

A public council scrutiny committee meeting will be held on May 7 at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre.

And public meetings will be held at each school, as follows:

> Ashton Voluntary Aided Middle School, 7pm, Monday, March 3.

> Brewers Hill Middle, 7pm, Tuesday, March 4.

> Streetfield Middle, 7pm on Wednesday, March 5.

Meetings at the schools will involve a presentation from the council on the proposals and consultation, followed by questions and discussion.

Separate meetings have been arranged for school staff.

A report to the council’s executive committee said the schools “have falling pupil rolls and are unviable”. But any “viable” alternatives to closure would be considered.

Mr Versallion said: “This is a very important decision and I want the consultation process to be as inclusive as possible. I really do encourage everyone, particularly parents and teachers, to fill in the consultation documents and attend these meetings.

“Everything that we are told will be taken into consideration before any decisions are made.”

Pupil age range changes are seen as leading to a shift from Dunstable’s long-established three-tier education system to a two-tier arrangement.

Now Ashton Middle is consulting on potentially becoming a secondary school.

Brewers Hill Middle will set out its case to stay open, and supporters have launched a Save Brewers Hill Middle School petition.

Streetfield Middle hopes to become a primary school with a nursery provision.

> Check out Central Beds Council’s website via www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations and www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/admissions for more information, documents and response forms, to view the video featuring Mr Versallion, and to see a list of frequently asked questions.