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  1. ITV Report

Bath Studio School to close in 2020 due to lack of numbers

The school was initially earmarked for closure in October 2018. Credit: ITV West Country

The Bath Studio School is to close in 2020, the Department for Education has confirmed.

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust (WMAT/Trust), in charge of the studio school on Frome Rd, announced on Wednesday 13 February that the final decision had been made for it to close.

It hasn't been able to recruit enough students since opening in September 2014 and will close at the end of the summer term in 2020.

The school will now close at the end of the summer term in 2020. Credit: ITV West Country

In October 2018 parents of children who attend the school were told it was at risk of closure.

The decision was dubbed a "massive let-down" by Bath MP Wera Hobhouse after the announcement was made in an email to parents.

No new admissions will be made after September this year.

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. Speaking after the announcement in 2018

In 2017 the studio school received a "requires improvement" rating in its first Ofsted report.

The education watchdog criticised senior leaders, governors and the trust for not doing enough to tackle the areas requiring improvement.

Twerton councillor Tim Ball said children who would have attended Bath Community Academy, which also closed, were being left without a "mainstream, local secondary school."

Confirmation of the school's closure follows a five-week period of discussions with the WMAT following the initial announcement last year.

Pupils will complete the qualifications they are currently undertaking.

According to the trust, students will be supported leading up to the closure as they prepare for the transition.

Staff will also be supported in finding further employment.