Council to discuss solutions to the Hackney primary schools falling rolls
On 22 May, Hackney Council’s Cabinet is meeting to discuss the potential closure of two primary schools and merger of four other schools into two, as a result of the significant decrease in their pupil numbers.
The proposals, announced in March this year, are in response to an ongoing decline in the number of school aged children in Hackney, which led to 21% of this year’s reception places remaining unfilled. As schools are financed based on the number of pupils on roll, this means that some are now under serious financial pressure.
In April, the leaders of the six schools and Council representatives organised engagement meetings with the parents and staff potentially affected by these plans. The detailed proposals, the reasons behind them, as well as the feedback received so far have been included in the Cabinet report that will inform next week’s decision.
We know schools are more than just places for children to receive education, and that they play an important part in their local community. This is why having to now consider potentially closing or merging schools is very difficult, and not something we would propose if we had any other choice. We do not underestimate the impact that such changes would have on the community, parents, carers, pupils and staff. However, the impact of falling rolls is being felt widely across many schools, and over time it is becoming increasingly more difficult for them to continue doing all the fantastic things that families, children, staff and the community love them for.
If the Cabinet decision is to proceed to the next step, the Council will begin extensive informal consultation with all those potentially affected by the proposals. The results of this consultation would be considered in a second Cabinet meeting, to take place in September-October this year. A final decision would be made in December 2023. No schools would close or merge until September 2024.