Support from DCC Councillor

This letter from Councillor Tracy Critchlow, dated 24 May, was a response to a parent of a child at Combs School, who hopes to be able to send their other child there. Cllr Critchlow (Conservative) represents Chapel and Hope Valley on Derbyshire County Council.

"I agree with the points you raise in your letter as I am familiar with the school and my godson used to attend there. Whilst Combs Infant School is not in my division, children from my area do attend it and I am very strongly against the proposed closure.

"Combs School has always been rated as excellent by OfSTED and has a waiting list of pupils wanting to attend. Closing Combs Infant School would not increase numbers at Chapel School, as many parents actively choose not to send their children there because of its lower standards of attainment. Few children, if any, each year go on to Chapel for their junior school education, preferring to go to better schools elsewhere such as Kettleshulme which is out of the county. This preference would continue as a choice for their infant school education if Combs was closed. The only way to increase the numbers at Chapel is to improve its educational standards, not by closing another school.

"The closure of the school would have many repercussions within the village. The village hall would almost certainly close if the school was closed as the school rents the village hall and provides it's main source of income. Without the use of the school, the village hall would not be viable and the village's only community facility would be lost.

"Combs Infant School is an excellent school which gives its pupils a high standard of education. This is vouched for by the primary schools who state that children from Combs Infant School are above the standard of the children from their other feeder schools.

"I object to an excellent school being closed for no good reason."

Councillor Critchlow's letter was copied to:
  • Bruce Buckley, Strategic Director of Children and Young Adults, DCC
  • Cllr Alan Charles, Cabinet Member forSchools, DCC
  • Cllr Barrie Taylor, Elected Member for Whaley Bridge and Blackbrook, DCC
  • Avis Curry, Head Teacher, Combs Infant School
  • The Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Education & Skills
  • Tom Levitt MP
  • Cllr Andrew Bingham, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for High Peak