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Statement in response to the next phase of Southwark Council’s Keeping Education Strong strategy

28 March 2023

Southwark Council launched its Keeping Education Strong strategy at the end of last year as a response to falling school rolls.

We can now report that after a period of intense, meticulous and sensitive work with schools to assess the overall outlook for their future, we have concluded the first part of our strategy. School leaders have been communicated with on the next steps for their school.

The council is now in a position to share the recommendations, which involve further work with a handful of schools. As a result of the joint working with our schools, of our 74 across the borough, it is recommended that four schools amalgamate with neighbouring schools and a further six to seven schools reduce their Pupil Admission Number (PAN).

As the council and cabinet promised the schools, they have heard from us first on this.

Councillor Jasmine Ali, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for children, young people, education and refugees, said: “The issue of falling roles and a low birth rate is not unique to Southwark, it is a regional and national problem. But it is an issue that we have decided to proactively and strategically meet head-on, to support our parents, children and school staff through a difficult challenge. Things can change but we are prepared for that too. As we’ve said many times, closure is always a last resort and the strategy demonstrates that it is one we actively seek to avoid.

“We know that change can be unsettling, that is why our education team will continue to be here to support teachers, parents and pupils through any changes as a result of this work. However, we expect the outcome of our strategy to be a positive one, and the best it can be, with schools in a strong position to continue to provide a superb education to children in Southwark. I can reassure everyone that we always put the best interests of children and their education first.”

Page last updated: 28 March 2023

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