Bath & North East Somerset Council has today (Thursday 19th January) been notified that Ministers at the Department for Education have announced a final decision to close Bath Community Academy (BCA) at the end of the summer term 2018. The proposal to close the school, which currently has 241 pupils, was made by the Cabot Learning Federation in July last year.

Councillor Michael Evans (Conservative, Midsomer Norton, North) Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said, “We understand this will be difficult news for many of the current pupils, parents and staff at Bath Community Academy, as well as members of the local community who have links with the school. Our first priority now is to provide full support to the children and families at BCA to ensure a smooth transition of pupils to other local schools. We will provide further information to parents as soon as possible about how the process of transferring pupils will work.

“The school will remain open for another 17 months so there is time to ensure the transition is well planned and of course the current year 10 and 11 pupils will have the chance to complete their GCSE courses at BCA before looking at 6th form or other options.

“Going forward, the council will be seeking to engage with all stakeholders and the community on the most appropriate future for the BCA site. The council has already made it clear that we would like for the site to continue to be used for educational purposes, as well as the continuation of the sport and leisure facilities on the site.”

Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) has agreed to make a contribution towards new school uniform costs for those affected and BANES Council will fund home to school transport for those who are eligible depending on the distance needed to travel.

Now that a final decision has been made, detailed conversations with BCA, the Cabot Learning Federation and the other local schools will begin to plan how best to provide places for the affected pupils. Earlier this month BANES Council announced that parents applying for secondary school places in September 2018 will be able to list five schools as part of the application process, rather than the previous three. It is hoped that this will help to ensure that residents selecting schools for September 2018 are able to access a school place within the local authority area, which has some very popular and high performing schools.

Any school which receives more applications than it has places available must determine who is offered a place by using their published admissions criteria. They cannot offer a place to a local family who have not included that school within their list of preferences.