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Carlton Primary: Council education chief can’t commit to keep under threat Gospel Oak school open

PUBLISHED: 16:10 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 22 January 2020

Carlton Primary School. Picture: Google

Carlton Primary School. Picture: Google

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The future of Carlton Primary School in Gospel Oak will be decided in April, according to Camden’s education chief.

Cllr Angela Mason, Camden Council's cabinet member for education. Picture: Sam VolpeCllr Angela Mason, Camden Council's cabinet member for education. Picture: Sam Volpe

After concerned parents from the school made a deputation to a meeting of the borough's full council on Monday night, Cllr Angela Mason refused to guarantee its future.

The Parents at Carlton Primary Action Group (PCPAG) was formed in November when Camden Council announced it was considering options which could include closing the school in light of falling pupil numbers both at the school and across the borough.

As part of a deputation, mum of two, Noella Bello Castro, told the council that closing the school "would have a devastating impact locally".

She went on to call on Camden to consider a hybrid solution, saying: "We urge you to consider that the school should function as a one form entry school while sharing the building with other services.

"This would be an innovative solution which would position Camden as a courageous local authority who made a bold move in the face of government cuts instead of one that turned its back on children with some of the highest need in their borough."

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Cllr Mason said: "I don't think anyone doubts whatsoever the contribution that Carlton School is making and how much parents really appreciate the education their children are receiving.

"As you know we have a big, big problem with falling birth rates.

"We have too many school places across the borough, not just at Carlton School.

"I obviously want the school to continue but things can't just stay the same.

"The school has put forward many suggestions and we will work to get the best outcome we can."

Cllr Tom Simon (Lib Dem, Belsize) called on Cllr Mason to "commit to keeping the school open and remove the option of closure".

But she replied: "The decision will come to Cabinet on April 1. Obviously we very much hope we can find a way to support and protect the pupils that attend Carlton School but it's honest to say we are not there yet."

The education chief said the council was looking to "push to find a way we can commit to a sustainable school system going forwards".

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