THE public has until the end of next week to have their say on massive changes planned for the South Somerset schools system.

The consultation calls for opinions on transforming the education system in Ilminster and Crewkerne from three tiers (first, middle and upper schools) into two tiers (primary and secondary schools).

The current plans include closing Misterton First School and merging Greenfylde and Swanmead into a single primary school.

But it is not a done deal, and the public consultation can influence the final decision to be made by councillors next year. The deadline is Friday, December 11.

Councillor Faye Purbrick, Cabinet Member for Education and Transformation at Somerset County Council, said: “We have put together these plans to ensure every child in the Crewkerne and Ilminster area can continue to receive the first class education they absolutely deserve.

“We want people to be involved in developing the proposals and are committed to listening to their views.

“I encourage everyone with an interest to take part, join our virtual events and have their say in our public consultation.”

The current plans were drawn up after years of debates between schools, academy trusts and Somerset County Council.

The only thing they seem to agree on is that the three tier system is not sustainable.

One reason for this is that Wadham Upper School is in debt to the county council, expected to be at £1.8million by September 2022.

By adding Year 7 and 8 provisions to the school, Wadham will provide a wider curriculum and so receive a better share of the available education funding.

The current proposals have faced backlash from some parents over the potential closure of Misterton First School.

They say the school, which was rated ‘Good’ in its last Ofsted report, should not be sacrificed in a bid to cover Wadham’s debt.

Consultation responses should be submitted by completing an online questionnaire available at

Depending on the outcome of this listening exercise, it would be followed by publication of notices and a further four-week period when members of the public can respond.

Cabinet is expected to make a final decision on the way forward in 2021.

Due to the restrictions on public events due to coronavirus, a series of virtual Microsoft Teams Live events took place between 17 and 26 November.

There were more than 280 people in attendance.