At their meeting on Wednesday 23 January 2019, Cabinet agreed the following:
The local authority to cease to maintain South Shields School with effect from 31 August 2020, with the closure phased as follows:
September 2018 to July 2019:
No changes - Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 to continue at South Shields School
September 2019 to July 2020:
No year 7
Years 8, 9, 11 remain at South Shields School
Year 10 pupils allocated to receiving schools to begin GCSE courses for September 2019
School closed from 31 August 2020:
Years 9 and 10 allocated to receiving schools for entry in September 2020
Once the minutes of Cabinet's meeting are published, the decision is subject to a 5 day 'call in' by the Council's scrutiny committee, therefore no action will be taken to begin implementation of the decision until 1 February 2019, at the earliest. After the 'call in' period, parents/carers will be invited to meetings, to support and advise on the transition of pupils to their new schools.
The cabinet report and background papers can be accessed below.
Cabinet report 23 January 2019 and background papers
Cabinet report – 23 January 2019442.37KB
Appendix 1 - Statutory Notice and Statutory proposal for the closure of South Shields School
Appendix 2 - Cabinet report - 12 September 2018
Cabinet report - 12 September 2018366.69KB
Appendix 3 - Cabinet report - 13 November 2018
Cabinet report - Statutory Consultation Process - South Shields School167.75KB
Appendix 4 - Information and response forms from informal consultation, including pupil projections
Appendix 5 - Notes from consultation meetings and written responses from informal consultation
Boldon School and Mortimer Community College drop in sessions74.18KB
Parents consultation - Years 7, 8 and 9150.68KB
Parents consultation - Years 10 and 11160.21KB
Governing Board response258.14KB
Appendix 6 - Options appraisal following informal consultation
South Shields Viability Issues and Options226.98KB
Appendix 7 - Statutory Representations received
Appendix 7 - Responses received during representation period228.67KB
Appendix 8 - Petitions received
Appendix 9 - Department for Education: Schedule 2 of the School Organisation (Establishment and Discontinuance) Regulations 2013 Statutory Guidance
Appendix 10 - Department for Education: Opening and Closing maintained schools: Statutory guidance for proposers and decision makers
Information for students and their parents and carers at South Shields School
There will be no changes made to South Shields School during the upcoming academic year 2018-19.
We understand that this is a difficult time for pupils, parents, carers, staff, governors and all associated with the school. South Tyneside Council is committed to working with parents to minimise the impact of any change.
A dedicated telephone number is in place for all parents and pupils:
0191 424 7847
South Shields School was opened in 2008 and moved to the new site on Nevison Avenue in 2011.
The school has places for 850 pupils aged 11 - 16. From September 2018 there are 528 pupils on roll. The new school was built under a Private Finance Initiative.
In October 2017 the school was inspected by Ofsted and received an overall judgement of inadequate. In these circumstances, the Regional Schools Commissioner (who works on behalf of the Secretary of State and the Department for Education) must, in law, place a Directive Academy Order upon the school and seek a preferred Sponsor. In these circumstances, as soon as an Academy Sponsor is found, the school becomes an Academy and can no longer be a Council maintained school.
The Directive Academy Order was placed on South Shields School in November 2017. However, the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) has informed the Council that it has been unable to find a sponsor for the school. As a result of this, the RSC has advised the Council that the Secretary of State may revoke the Academy Order but only on the condition that the Council undertake a statutory consultation to close the school.
The Council is prevented from maintaining the school in these circumstances. Therefore the Council's Cabinet agreed on 5 September 2018 to consult on closure, as required by the Secretary of State, to revoke the Academy Order.
There are many reasons why the RSC may have been unable to find a sponsor for South Shields School, but the main concern for potential sponsors is around the viability of the school because of existing and projected low pupil numbers. These are 528 in September 2018 - the lowest since the school opened in 2008 - against a capacity of 850.
Based upon current admission patterns these numbers are predicted to fall further in future years. Funding for schools is based almost exclusively on pupil numbers, so if numbers continue to fall as predicted this will present significant financial difficulties for the school. When schools are in this position it becomes difficult to run the school and to offer a full curriculum.
As a result of no sponsor being found for South Shields School, the Department for Education requires South Tyneside Council to undertake a statutory consultation on the potential closure of the school.
If a future decision is made to close the school, the Council is committed to supporting pupils, staff, parents and carers to make transition as smooth as possible and to ensure that quality of education is maintained. It is proposed that a phased closure would take place over two years:
- Pupils in current years 10 and 11 would complete their secondary education at South Shields School
- 2018/19 - No changes to the school in any year group
- 2019/20 - No year 7 pupils would be admitted and current year 9 pupils would transfer to a new school for GCSE years
- 2020/21 - Current years 7 and 8 to transfer to new schools
The table below shows the effect of phased closure on each year group:
|Year 7||No change (current year 7)||N/A||N/A|
|Year 8||No change (current year 8)||No change (current year 7)||N/A|
|Year 9||No change (current year 9)||No change (current year 8)||New school (current year 7)|
|Year 10||No change (current year 10)||New school (current year 9)||New school (current year 8)|
|Year 11||No change||No change (current year 10)||N/A|
If the decision is made to close the school it would close on 31 August 2020.
There are a number of secondary schools within South Tyneside which have places in the relevant year groups to which pupils could be admitted. Mortimer Community College and Boldon School have sufficient places to accommodate all pupils from South Shields School and already have some commonality in their catchment areas.
|20 September 2018||Consultation starts|
|2 November 2018||First round of consultation ends|
|13 November 2018||Expected meeting of South Tyneside Council's Cabinet|
|21 November 2018||Expected start of representation period, if agreed|
|19 December 2018||Expected end of representation period, if agreed|
|23 January 2019||Cabinet to make final decision on the future of the school|
Information about pupil forecasts is available at South Tyneside pupil forecasts 2018-202516.2KB.
Frequently asked questions
For more information view the Frequently asked questions about the future of South Shields School.