I have been contacted over the weekend by a number of constituents concerned about reports that Coseley School may close. I know how important schools are to the local community and am a passionate believer in the importance of a good education for young people’s chances in life.
I met with Dudley Council leader Peter Lowe and his senior education officer about the issue last Friday. They informed me that Coseley school has been in difficulty for some time but that no firm decision has been taken about its future. Latest exam results show just 31% of pupils got 5 good GCSEs. These results are well below the national average and below what our ambitions should be for children in Coseley.
Just 53 out of 195 available places at the school for next year have been applied for, meaning the school is very undersubscribed and many local parents are choosing other schools for their children. This fall in pupil numbers adds to the school’s financial difficulties because school funding falls if pupil numbers fall.
If we want to achieve the best possible education for children in Coseley the present set up is not doing that because the results are not good enough and we need to be offering more to Coseley children. The Council informed me that rather than simply have a plan for closure they are looking at future educational options for Coseley which could include a new school on the site, taking account of plans for new housing which is due to be built in the area over the coming years.
The Council will consider these proposals at a cabinet meeting later this month. As the local MP I have always campaigned for excellence in local schools and for the highest possible standards and results. I want to see the best possible educational future for children in Coseley and I will keep working with the local community, the local council and other local partners to help achieve that.