WARRINGTON Borough Council should compensate the families of pupils forced to change schools as a result of the impending closure of the Future Tech Studio School, according to MP Helen Jones.
The Warrington North MP believes parents should not have to pay for items such as new school uniforms – and claims some parents have already raised concerns.
She said: “Parents will have had to send considerable amounts of money on such items as uniforms. It is not reasonable for them to have to pay out again because their child has to change schools as the one they are going to is closing down. They are being penalised for events outside their control.
“Parents were being asked, only a week before the closure was announced, whether they wanted children to go on trips and attend events.
“I understand that the original intention was to close after year 10 students had completed their courses at the end of the next school year. Unfortunately, that has been overridden by Government and has left students and parents in limbo and facing financial difficulties.
“The borough council should step in a compensate families who suffer hardship because of the Future Tech School’s closure.”
The school is to close at the end of August because of low pupil numbers.
Warrington Collegiate Education Trust has already announced that pupils in Year 10 and their parents will receive tailored advice, guidance and support to find alternative places to complete their studies from September.
The Future Tech Studio opened in September 2014, sponsored by Warrington Collegiate Education Trust – but student numbers have been impacted since the opening of the nearby University Technical College.
Cllr Jean Carter, executive board member for children’s services, said: “Officers from Warrington Borough Council have been working extremely hard to pick up the pieces after the government decided that Future Tech should close.
“A special meeting was organised for parents, to provide support, explain the options available, and to enable the local authority to coordinate an exceptional admissions process, with fair allocation of available places.
“We have been working in partnership with the Future Tech leadership team and Warrington secondary schools to ensure that young people have a smooth transition to another school in September.
“We have done our utmost to minimise the disruption to their education and the impact of the closure on the young people and their families. The government has refused to pay for any expenses that the families will incur but we will certainly look to help in any way we can.”