PLANS to close a special needs
in Wirral have been dubbed an act of “educational vandalism” by senior councillors, who feel town hall chiefs should think again.
Wirral Council’s ruling cabinet approved plans
to begin a 12-week consultation on the closure of The Lyndale School on Thursday, citing a drop in pupil numbers and a change in funding as the reason.
But opposition councillors believe the Eastham school should be saved, opting to use their “call-in” procedures to delay the cabinet decision and force further debate on the issue.
Councillor Jeff Green, leader of the Conservative Group, told the Globe he and other councillors plan to call in the decision once the minutes of the cabinet meeting are published, forcing the decision to be discussed by a scrutiny committee before being sent back to cabinet.
Describing Lyndale as a “unique resource”, Cllr Green said he would be supporting fellow councillors, including Liberal Democrat councillor Tom Harney – who is also the chair of governors at Lyndale – in their fight to keep the school open.
He said: “I think the cabinet made a mistake.
“Lyndale is a very unique place in terms of the education offered – it is highly-rated by Ofsted, highly-valued by parents and it is loved by the children.
“It would be an act of educational vandalism to close the school.
“We think the school is a unique resource for some of the most special children in Wirral.
“The reason given about moving to a per capita funding is flawed as we believe that if we were to look at the funding properly and base it around the needs of the children and then apply the individual funding formula for the school appropriately, the school is sustainable and the very special education that is offered by Lyndale could be saved.”
Council leader Phil Davies said he felt 12 weeks was a suitable length of time to consult on the future of Lyndale and said it was important to “keep an open mind”, as well as ensuring the consultation is both open and transparent.