Tom Levitt MP visits Combs

Tom Levitt spent one and a half hours at Combs School today, meeting with school governors, school staff, parents and villagers.

It was an opportunity to discuss with our MP some of the many questions and concerns that we have. The details of the proposal for school closure made by Derbyshire Council were examined, with several elements of their case being brought into question.

Chairman of the school governors, Nye Rowlands, told Mr. Levitt that in his view the threat of closure was something that should receive national attention, and not just be of local and county concern. “How is it possible”, he asked, “when the government talks of ‘education, education, education’, for an excellent school to be threatened in this way, with no guarantee that better education will somehow result from its closure?”

Mr. Levitt replied that the reputation of the school and its headteacher, Avis Curry, were ‘legendary’ and the quality of the education was beyond question. The mentoring role that Mrs. Curry undertakes with other schools was explained to him.

Mr. Levitt ended the meeting by explaining that although the decision would be made by Derbyshire County Council, he would be raising some points with the Council as a consequence of the meeting.

He said, “I have learned some new information this morning, and I feel that the arguments for keeping the school open are stronger now than I thought they were before I came.”

“I believe that the discussion is far from over”, he went on, “and while it will be the strength of your argument that determines whether you win, rather than who makes the points, I am now better able to ask questions and make sure this closure threat is properly considered.”

UPDATE: Read the letter written to DCC by Tom Levitt following the meeting.