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MP challenges Council to free school from threat of closure

December 3, 2007 3:00 PM

Local MP, Tim Farron has written to North Yorkshire County Council challenging them to take account of new guidelines which make their proposal to close Baliol School even more ridiculous. The school, which is for children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties provides a vital service for children and their families and is an important and integral part of the local community in Sedbergh. The school is owned by North Yorkshire County Council but also serves many children from across Cumbria.

Mr Farron stressed to the Council that new guidelines issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families require a full explanation of the way in which closing one facility and replacing it with another would improve services for children. He is convinced that the Council would not be capable of giving a satisfactory explanation because any closure would clearly lead to a reduction in services for children.

Mr Farron said:

"The work that the staff at Baliol have done with young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties is outstanding, and I have been pleased to be involved in the campaign to keep the school open. The new guidelines put North Yorkshire County Council in a difficult position because they make it much harder for them to justify closure of the school.

"I find it very difficult to believe that closing Baliol school, and therefore losing outstanding staff, would serve the community and it would cause needless disruption to a group of children who are least able to deal with that . I am urging NYCC to remove the threat of closure from Baliol."