Plymouth Studio School – Press Release

Press release

24th April 2018


Plymouth Studio School

Plymouth Studio School has announced that following discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner’s (RSC) office and the Department for Education, a decision in principle has been made to close the School. It is anticipated the School will close in September 2018.

The RSC’s team will be holding a ‘listening period’ for parents and that process will commence shortly.

Parents have been told the news and invited to a meeting at the School today for a briefing from the headteacher, and to hear more from the local authority about the next steps in the process. A second meeting will take place on Wednesday 25th April for parents unable to attend today. Staff were also notified of the decision today, and a special assembly for pupils will be held this morning.

Mark Cahill, Headteacher of Plymouth Studio School, said:  “We are extremely sorry to be announcing this news, which we recognise will come as a disappointment to parents and pupils. Our primary concern now is the future wellbeing and best outcomes for our pupils.

“We are assured by the local authority that there are sufficient places in the city’s secondary schools to accommodate all Studio School pupils, and my staff will be working closely with the local authority, the Regional Schools Commissioner and others to ensure a smooth transition for all of our pupils to their new schools.

“Our focus for the rest of the year will continue to be on providing the very best teaching, learning and assessment we can for our pupils.”

Plymouth Studio School, like many other studio schools across the country, has faced significant challenges regarding its viability, and will be the 19th studio school to close since the model’s inception. These challenges have been compounded by the outcome of a recent Ofsted inspection, which rated the school as Inadequate.

The report, which will be published shortly, identifies a number of fundamental areas for improvement and whilst it was recognised that the current management team at the school has made some improvements, unfortunately insufficient timely progress has been made.

Mark Cahill added: “A number of issues identified by Ofsted have already been addressed, including a safeguarding review, which was completed earlier in the month. My staff and I remain absolutely committed to addressing the other areas for improvement identified in the Ofsted report.”

A final decision on the closure is expected to be made by the Minister for Schools in July.

Judith Harwood, Plymouth City Council’s Service Director for Education, Participation and Skills, said the council is not involved in decisions around the closure of academies, but has a role in placing pupils and supporting families.

She said “Our priority is now to find suitable alternative places for all pupils currently at the School and to ensure this happens as smoothly as possible and in the best interests of the young people and their families.”

Plymouth Studio School is working closely with Plymouth City Council and with Careers South West (CSW), and will be arranging information, advice and guidance sessions for pupils and parents who may wish to meet with CSW advisors. HR specialists will be liaising with staff about their next steps and future options.


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DCA Public Relations

Mary O’Leary

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