Queen’s Park closure means cash for special schools

Lincolnshire County Council are currently consulting the public with proposals to invest more in St Francis and St Christopher’s schools.

The investment would fund more help and equipment for children with complex special needs in Lincoln.

If the proposal was passed, it would mean that Queen’s Park School will be closed and children transfered to the improved site.

The proposal is so far supported by teaching staff at all three of the schools, after the Council believes it has looked “at all options for Queen’s Park School”.

The possibilities the County Council have looked at are:

  • It is not possible to build new developments or a new school on the Queen’s Park School site. That is why the Annex was built away from the main Queen’s Park site some years ago for 14-19 provision.
  • A significant investment of around £2m at the St Christopher’s and St Francis schools will provide Queen’s Park pupils with high quality, enhanced facilities which are currently in short supply at Queen’s Park School. It will ensure a broader range of specialist provision for the Lincoln area and for those children who require it.
  • Other school sites like Myle Cross have been considered, but they are unsuitable and/or expensive for conversion.
  • The Annex will still be used for 14-19 provision and those students who wish to be based there.

Principal School Improvement Adviser Paul Snook said: “This proposal is the result of detailed discussions with the three head teachers and each school governing body.

“Alternatives have been thoroughly investigated as part of the review into special school provision in Lincoln and in response to the inadequate building and facilities at Queen’s Park, highlighted over recent years.

“The proposal, if adopted, would provide improved accommodation and services for children with complex needs. It would also ensure the authority is well placed to make effective provision for these children both now and in the future.

“We have been invited to a City Council meeting on the proposals this Wednesday and we are happy to reiterate this position.

“Similarly the governing body at Queen’s Park want to revisit the proposal so we will be happy to do that with them. Any petition that is handed in to us will be considered as part of the consultation.”

The consultation period ends on July 27. Then, the Executive Councillor for Children’s Services will decide whether to move to a six-week statutory notice, which provides opportunities for feedback.

A public meeting will be held tonight, July 20, at Lincoln Drill Hall to discuss the closure of Queen’s Park School.