The announcement that St Martin-in-Meneage CP School will close at the end of January has been greeted with “great sadness” by West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas.
Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, Lisa Mannall, wrote to Mr Thomas on Monday, informing him of the Minsters’ decision, saying it had been made “to ensure that all pupils continue to have access to a high quality education in a school with a sustainable future”.
Mr Thomas has been supportive of efforts by the local community to keep the school open ever since directors of Keskowethyans Multi Academy Trust announced at the end of June that they planned to close it due to falling pupil numbers – there were 12 pupils on the roster at the time of the decision.
Mr Thomas has argued that an opportunity should be created to work up plans to put the school on a secure footing and, more recently, sent out a questionnaire to local residents canvassing their views on the school.
“This is clearly not the news we wanted to hear and will be greeted with great sadness by many in the local community,” he said.
“St Martin’s School has served families in the village and surrounding area for well over 130 years and was rated a ‘Good’ school by Ofsted only this year.
“This closure raises questions about how the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust was set up six years ago and whether it has been the best thing for the children and their parents and the local communities.
“I have been promised further meetings with the Education Minister to discuss what can be learnt from this. We need to ensure that parents’ concerns about their local schools can be heard much sooner.”