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Bruton Town Council support Sexeys

A well attended town council meeting in Bruton last night, updated the community on the plight of Sexeys School. Presentations were given by a parents representative and two of the governors.

All expressed dismay at the way the Regional Commissioner for Schools SW Hannah Woodhouse, had tried to force through a proposed takeover of the school in just two weeks. That takeover was to be carried out by a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) based in Sherborne, Dorset.

As we reported, earlier in the day that MAT pulled out of the deal. This does not mean the RSC will not continue with her plans though. Merely that she will need to find a new MAT.

What we learned in the course of the evening was interesting. There was unanimity in objecting to the way the RCS had tried to push a deal through with minimal consultation with the school, parents and governors.

More than one speaker commented on the way all political parties had backed the local community and the school, an unusual and very welcome display of cross party support!

However there was also concern expressed that Sexeys, which has substantial assets, might be used to prop up the finances of an MAT that was interested in taking it over.

Concerns were also raised that as Sexeys is that rare beast, a state school that offers boarding, any MAT taking it over should have experience in working with boarders.

On the more positive front we also learned that the Bishop of Bath and Wells had written in support of the parents and governors objecting to the unseemly haste the RSC was proposing.

We were also told that one of the parents had received an email from local MP David Warburton explaining that he and Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, had secured a meeting with the RSC at which they would be putting their concerns and those of the parents and governors.

The Town Council then went into formal session and agreed a motion in support of the School as follows:

The council calls upon the Secretary of State to work with the School, its Governors its Parents and the Bruton Community, to rapidly identify a way forward for the school rather than imposing a pre conceived solution that has no local support.

The Council will support the School its Governors, Parents Teachers and Students in whatever way it can through the process.

The council will write to the RSC to express the above concerns and to request that the Consultation process be extended to enable proper consideration of the most appropriate legal structure to deliver the brightest future for Sexey’s School

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