Closed school could get new lease of life

A SCHOOL, which was closed down in 2010 after it was graded as “inadequate” by Ofsted watchdogs, could reopen within the next two years.

Parents of Chineham Park Primary School, in Popley, Basingstoke, fought to keep it open following the damning inspection, but Hampshire County Council (HCC) closed it in August 2010 and pupils were moved to neighbouring schools.

Now, a report prepared for HCC shows that 420 school places are needed in the Popley area, and that if pupil numbers justify it, the former school in Shakespeare Road could re-open.

The Interim Strategic Infrastructure Statement sets out the likely infrastructure needs in Hampshire over the next 20 years.

It shows that an extra 4,475 school places are needed in Basingstoke and Deane, including 210 at a Popley primary school, and 210 places at Merton Infant and Junior Schools, which are also in Popley and would have taken children from Chineham Park.

Since Chineham Park closed down, it has been transformed into The Popley Spotlight Centre, run by charity Peace of Mind Care, to provide affordable activities such as dance and drama for the community.

Michaela Riley, who founded the charity, said: “We have been told that we are definitely safe for the next year but we don’t know more than that. We always knew that we could use the building for three to five years when we took on the premises.

“Hampshire County Council have said they will work with us to relocate when the time comes. We are there for the community so whatever is needed in that building by the community should happen.”

Basingstoke North Hampshire County Councillor Jane Frankum, who fought to keep Chineham Park Primary open, said: “The council are working with Popley Spotlight to find another premises. It was never a permanent thing and they knew that.

“It will re-open as a school which tells us they shouldn’t have closed it in the first place. There is a need for a school there, and that need will increase when more houses are built.”

Councillor Roy Perry, executive lead member for children’s services at the council, said Chineham Park was included in the strategic plan to meet the potential increase in demand for school places, linked to the proposed new housing development of 450 homes north of Marnel Park.

He added: “It is likely we would pursue the re-use of the Chineham Park site as the preferred option as this would represent cost-effective use of resources.”

He said Spotlight had been made aware, and added: “We have been working closely with them to help them identify alternative accommodation.”

Cllr Perry said that the earliest the school would re-open is 2014.

Comments (8)

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6:25pm Sat 28 Apr 12

Tinks1906 says...

Well there's a suro
Well there's a suro Tinks1906

6:27pm Sat 28 Apr 12

Tinks1906 says...

Well theres a surprise! We did say It was nEe
Well theres a surprise! We did say It was nEe Tinks1906

6:30pm Sat 28 Apr 12

Tinks1906 says...

Sorry dodgy phone ... We did say the school was needed but they knew best apparently !!very frustrating :-(
Sorry dodgy phone ... We did say the school was needed but they knew best apparently !!very frustrating :-( Tinks1906

8:43pm Sat 28 Apr 12

InBasingstoke says...

Merton http://www3.hants.go
v.uk/schooldetails?d
fes=2271#admissions

Under subscribed

http://www3.hants.go
v.uk/schooldetails?d
fes=2298#admissions well is now full. (Marnel)

http://www3.hants.go
v.uk/schooldetails?d
fes=2012#admissions Oakridge

http://www3.hants.go
v.uk/schooldetails?d
fes=2228#admissions South View.


unrelated but It shocked me

http://www3.hants.go
v.uk/schooldetails?d
fes=4180#admissions The Vyne (64) year 7's

but anyway... Clearly something is wrong with Merton?
Merton http://www3.hants.go v.uk/schooldetails?d fes=2271#admissions Under subscribed http://www3.hants.go v.uk/schooldetails?d fes=2298#admissions well is now full. (Marnel) http://www3.hants.go v.uk/schooldetails?d fes=2012#admissions Oakridge http://www3.hants.go v.uk/schooldetails?d fes=2228#admissions South View. unrelated but It shocked me http://www3.hants.go v.uk/schooldetails?d fes=4180#admissions The Vyne (64) year 7's but anyway... Clearly something is wrong with Merton? InBasingstoke

4:08pm Sun 29 Apr 12

UKIP Basingstoke says...

We welcome the potential re-opening of the school and agree with Jane Frankum it should never have been closed. If you consider the planned development of the surrounding area it was obvious that one day the school would be needed again.
We welcome the potential re-opening of the school and agree with Jane Frankum it should never have been closed. If you consider the planned development of the surrounding area it was obvious that one day the school would be needed again. UKIP Basingstoke

4:35pm Sun 29 Apr 12

damlad says...

InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted.
InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted. damlad

1:20am Wed 2 May 12

InBasingstoke says...

damlad wrote:
InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted.
That's funny that because I was just mentioning the pupil numbers and so

Cranbourne has got that yet

in 2005 They had 1270 pupils
now they have 656....

in 2011 they lowed the pupil places per year from 260 to 180

rated as good... but the pupils kept on falling.

I suggest you read what I said before you comment. all I said was they're under subscribed, and if this wasn't the Gazette webpage, I would be calling your intelligence into question with a very aggressive vocabulary.
[quote][p][bold]damlad[/bold] wrote: InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted.[/p][/quote]That's funny that because I was just mentioning the pupil numbers and so Cranbourne has got that yet in 2005 They had 1270 pupils now they have 656.... in 2011 they lowed the pupil places per year from 260 to 180 rated as good... but the pupils kept on falling. I suggest you read what I said before you comment. all I said was they're under subscribed, and if this wasn't the Gazette webpage, I would be calling your intelligence into question with a very aggressive vocabulary. InBasingstoke

1:21am Wed 2 May 12

InBasingstoke says...

damlad wrote:
InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted.
So I suggest you use that magical 5 letter word.
[quote][p][bold]damlad[/bold] wrote: InBasingstoke: Suggest you check the recent "Good" rating for Merton by Ofsted.[/p][/quote]So I suggest you use that magical 5 letter word. InBasingstoke

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