Birmingham & Black Country

Parents protest over 'inadequate' Walsall school closure

The protest
Image caption Parents gathered outside Walsall Council where a parent's meeting was held

Parents have staged a protest over the closure of a special school, claiming they have been "left in the dark" about its future.

The Jane Lane School in Walsall, which has 143 pupils aged seven to 19, informed parents earlier this month it was closing due to staff sickness.

But parents say the school, in special measure after being rated inadequate, has not offered more information.

They protested outside the council on Wednesday where a meeting was held.

Retired head teacher Andy Summers - who had been asked to represent parents at the meeting - was escorted from the venue and barred from sitting in, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Mr Summers, who worked in schools across Solihull and Warwickshire, said he was approached to help the parents understand what was going on before he was barred.

Image caption Zara Sands, whose son Joshua attended the school, urged officials to update them

Parent Zara Sands, whose 13-year-old son Joshua has learning difficulties and autistic traits, said there had been "no communication".

"They closed the school saying it was down to sickness but we have been left in the dark," she said.

"One of the panel even admitted they had failed us and our children..."

The school, rated as inadequate by Ofsted on 7 February, said it was unlikely to reopen before the new half term on 18 February because health and safety would be compromised without sufficient staff.

Walsall Council said it fully understood parent's concerns over the closure, which it described as a temporary measure.

It said the meeting was intended only for parents and carers to discuss the inspection and "plans for getting the children back into education, appropriately and safely."

Image caption The council said it understood the concerns about both the Ofsted inspection and the 'temporary closure of the school'

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites