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  1. ITV Report

Possible closure of Bath Studio School described as 'massive let-down'

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, who run the school, has received 'in principle approval' for the closure. Photo: ITV West Country

Parents whose children attend the Bath Studio School have been told it could close in the next two years.

The decision, dubbed a "massive let-down" by one MP, was announced in an e-mail to parents on Monday evening, with the trust who run the school blaming it on a "lack of demand".

It's the second school in the south west of the city to face closure in six months, after Bath Community School closed at the end of the summer term.

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust has received 'in principle approval' for the closure in 2020 from the Secretary of State for Education.

There will be no new admissions from 2019.

The school has also faced leadership difficulties. Credit: ITV West Country

The school has also faced leadership difficulties recently, with its former head teacher Colin Cattanach being absent from the school for five months.

According to his website, 'Colin Cattanach Leadership' he stopped working at the school in July 2018.

Reacting to the news of the closure, Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath called it a "massive let-down" for children and parents in Bath.

This free school has just not delivered. It is the result of a Conservative party folly on education which has entirely fragmented our education system, removed accountability and failed to deliver proper results. Local authorities need clear responsibility for local schools.

– Wera Hobhouse MP, Lib Dem, Bath

Bath Studio School opened in September 2014. It describes itself as providing: "an exciting hub for learning and developing technical skills" on its website.

It was rated "requires improvement" in its first ever Ofsted report in June 2017. The report stated "the school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good".

However, the education watchdog criticised senior leaders, governors and the trust for not doing enough to tackle the areas requiring improvement, which included the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

A lot of children who would otherwise have naturally attended Bath Community Academy were directed to the Studio School. Now this is closing as well, they are being left without a mainstream, local secondary school. Parents and pupils will now be facing an anxious period of uncertainty."

– Councillor Tim Ball, Twerton ward

A five week listening period will now start, where those affected by the planned closure can comment on the plans.