More than 1,000 signatures on petition to save Brackley school from closure

“This will greatly affect our children, our local community and the future education of our children,” says the petition organiser
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More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition to save a Brackley school that is set to close at the end of the academic year.

Southfield Primary Academy made the “incredibly difficult decision” to close due to the falling number of pupils – which was predicted to continue to decrease.

Just over a quarter of school places are filled, with 109 pupils out of a maximum total of 420.

Southfield Primary Academy, which has announced its closure from next July. Photo: Google Maps.Southfield Primary Academy, which has announced its closure from next July. Photo: Google Maps.
Southfield Primary Academy, which has announced its closure from next July. Photo: Google Maps.

With approval from the Department for Education, the school will close its doors on July 19, 2024.

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A petition to stop the closure was started on October 6 and has already amassed more than 1,100 signatures online.

The petition reads: “This will greatly affect our children, our local community and the future education of our children. Cramming our kids into already full schools will hugely affect their learning.”

The individual who set up the petition believes the school has made a “massive turnaround” under the new headteacher – following a difficult past which saw “many pupils leave”.

The closure has come as a surprise to the families of pupils, as the school was “picking up greatly”.

“This makes no sense with a growing population around the area,” the petition continued. “Local schools are already full with waiting lists and houses being built at a rate of knots.

“We need to act now as the current plan is to close by July 2024.”

Southfield Primary Academy first issued a statement expressing their “great sadness” at the decision to close, and an initial statement was released by Councillor Fiona Baker on behalf of West Northamptonshire Council.

In an updated statement from Cllr Baker, she expressed her disappointment and sadness at the closure – but assured families that all students would be allocated a school place in the Brackley area.

Though the council says they attempted to help the school resolve its under-capacity, it “did not prove viable in the end”.

The South Northants Labour Party has condemned the decision to shut the school, describing it as “short-sighted and damaging to the educational life and community of Brackley and the surrounding villages”.

Councillor Simon Weaver, chair of the party and a Brackley Town Councillor, has children who attend the school and says the “loss will be felt throughout the community”.