According to residents fighting the attempt to close Raines Foundation Secondary School, Tower Hamlets Council has now withdrawn its application for a published admission number of zero for the September 2019 intake of year seven children, effectively shutting down the school by cutting off its supply of pupils.
LW can exclusively reveal that the published admission number (PAN) for the school has now been set by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) at 150.
The published admission number is the number of pupils in each year group that the admission authority agrees will be admitted without causing problems for the school.
Tower Hamlets Council made their original application for a ‘PAN Zero’ on the 3rd May 2019.
Damage to Raines already done
“This is great news and vindicates our objections but serious damage has now been done because nearly a 100 year six places have been lost due to actions of Children Services and politicians at the Town Hall,” said Mickey Ambrose, spokesperson for the SOS Raines group.
“Tower Hamlets Council blatantly misled and scared parents and pupils by announcing Raines Foundation Secondary would close.
Not only did they turn away year six pupils but Terry Bryan [Head of Pupil Services and School Sufficiency] publicly stated at two public meetings that the school was closing and that there would be no year seven or year 10 year groups from September 2019.”
Letter to parents?
Mr Ambrose has now submitted a series of questions to Debbie Jones (Head of Service) and Terry Bryan of Tower Hamlets Children Services, one of which is if she will be writing a clear, unambiguous letter to parents informing them of the change in the published admission number for the school.
Mr Ambrose said that he understands that in 2017 120 pupils were due to start in September, for September 2018 90 pupils and in 2019 up to 100 – and that this demand was despite Tower Hamlets Council not allowing many parents to put down Raines as a choice.
“Raines can survive if they let us but when we questioned why five other schools in the borough had been over allocated their PAN and Raines left out we could not get a satisfactory answer. It is like the council want Raines to fail”
Tower Hamlets Council and the Office of the Schools Adjudicator have both been approached for comment. This news story will be updated on receipt of their responses.