PLANS for major changes to protect the future delivery of education in the Crewkerne and Ilminster area will continue to progress following a High Court ruling.

From September 2022, the area’s current three-tier school system will become a two-tier system with major changes including:

  • Wadham School to become a secondary school;
  • Maiden Beech, Ashlands, St Bartholomew’s, Merriott and Haselbury Plucknett to become primary schools;
  • Swanmead and Greenfylde to amalgamate and become a primary school;
  • the closure of Misterton School.

The number of children coming into schools in Crewkerne and Ilminster has been reducing for many years, putting the quality of education being delivered at risk and causing large budget overspends, according to Somerset County Council.

Cllr Clare Paul, cabinet member for education at County Hall, said: “It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey to reach this point after ten years of reviewing, engaging and consulting on a number of proposals.

"We know the changes are emotive, but I hope we can now work together to make the transition as smooth as possible for the children, their families, carers and school staff.

"We are committed to ensuring that every child continues to receive the excellent education that they absolutely deserve.”

A judicial review hearing into the restructure of South Somerset schools took place last month.

It was held after two families challenged a school closure and restructure of the education system in Ilminster and Crewkerne, claiming the plans were unlawful.

The parents of a pupil at Misterton Church of England First School opposed the council's intention to close it.

The other family, whose child attend Greenfylde First School, were against its merger with Swanmead Community School to create a split-site CofE primary school.

They felt that the merger, which would result in a faith school, is discriminatory against people with no religious beliefs and therefore in breach of the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act.