THE latest report by Sefton Council recommends that St Theresa’s school in Southport should remain open.
A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The Council has always been keen to explore every avenue and, recognising the impact of Covid-19, would want to give the school more time to work on plans for them to remain open and achieve the best outcomes.
“The school’s Governing Body has given the Council assurances that they are determined to make their plan work.
“If the report is approved at the Cabinet Meeting on July 30, and the school remains open, Sefton Council will continue to support the school governors and leadership to monitor the school’s financial position and progress against the Governing Body’s plan which would ensure the sustainability of the school for the future.”
Diane Tierney, a Foundation Governor on the school’s Governing Body added: “We are delighted that the report recommends that we should stay open for the foreseeable future. The school has been providing education to the local community for the last 150 years and now we can say it will carry on for many more years to come.
“The Governing Body has worked hard with Sefton Council and the Archdiocese of Liverpool in order to find a solution that would guarantee the future of the school.
“The way forward is to reduce the number of pupils in each year group and reorganise the class structure. St Teresa’s prides itself on being a village school with a big heart. A good education and taking care of a child’s welfare are at the centre of the school and the organisation of the school in this way allows it to achieve these key objectives.
“The school has many opportunities to grow and we are grateful that the council recognises the commitment of the Governors, Staff, Parents, Parishioners and all other supporters by allowing the school to stay open.
“We do still have places at the school for September and would be delighted to welcome children
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the staff during the pandemic, St Teresa’s has been able to offer children a full timetable five days a week. We believe the children will now be better placed to start the new academic year than other schools in the area. The smaller number of pupils in each class means the school can ensure adherence to safety measures to protect children and staff and offer a full timetable to all year groups from September.
“The Governing Body believes it has set out a viable financial plan for the school which will ensure the future of the school and most importantly the provision of good education and the welfare of every child.”
Dukes Ward Councillor John Pugh added: “Credit must be given to the Council leadership for listening and to the extremely talented governing body and parents who have fought the school’s corner. There is much that needs still to be done but I genuinely believe with the right leadership we will witness the relaunch of a school which has had the sword of Damocles hanging over it. “Safer, smaller schools are needed more than ever in the Covid Age.
“Many of its recent problems have been due to sheer bad luck but its future depends on proving it can thrive at time when so many children’s education has been blighted and where smaller schools have a real part in ensuring that no-one is left behind as result.”
A full copy of the agenda and the report can be found at https://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=10051