Save Tennyson group consider ‘Studio School’ as option to save secondary education in Mablethorpe

Big numbers in Mablethorpe gathered together to hear the latest step forward in trying to save secondary education in the town.
Big numbers in Mablethorpe gathered together to hear the latest step forward in trying to save secondary education in the town.

The Save Tennyson-Save Our Town group has put forward its proposals to secure secondary education in Mablethorpe.

A public meeting held on Wednesday saw more than 100 people hear about the steering group’s progress during the last seven weeks following the announcement of the possible closure of the school’s site in Mablethorpe.

The school governors are due to make a decision this week as to whether the next step forward is to begin a formal consultation to decide if secondary education is to be pulled from the town altogether.

At the meeting, the steering group presented its best ideas on how to keep secondary provision in the area for future generations.

A unique idea was presented to bring a ‘studio school’ to Mablethorpe for 14-19 year-olds to work alongside an 11-14 year-old free school.

In order for the proposal to work, the scheme would require sponsorship from an existing multi-academy trust.

Chairing the meeting was steering group member, Paddy Prince, working alongside fellow member Chris Flanagan.

Chris explained: “We feel that if the school were to close, our best option would be to bring a studio school, alongside a free school to the area.

“A studio school encourages children to be part of an environment where work and learning are integrated.

“The studio school emphasises smaller numbers, with the biggest stage school already up and running having a maximum of 300 pupils. It would work well in Mablethorpe, and the Studio Schools Trust have already said it would be great to have one open up in the Lincolnshire area.”

The steering group has also spoken to multi-academy trusts, outlining its plans.

Chris added: “The only downside is that we couldn’t get a studio school up and running until September 2017.

“So we would need to fight to try to keep the school site open next year, so there is time to put something new in its place that will take the town into the future.”

Paddy said: “Seven weeks ago we started up a petition so people could show that they didn’t want the school to close and now we have 8,400 signatures. It is clear no-one wants the school to close.

“It would be a travesty to lose secondary education. Having no education next September is not an option.”

The steering group is now trying to press for as many people as possible to fill out a survey to establish the demand for other secondary provisions, should the Mablethorpe site close.

Chris said: “We need pupils, parents and businesses to fill out this survey - we need to know what demand there is out there. People have until Thursday, October 29 to do this and we cannot stress enough the importance of gaining this feedback.

“The entire future of secondary education in the area depends on this.”

To fill out a survey, visit: http://tennysonlives.org.uk.