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Mass exodus at Chaucer School in Canterbury before Kent County Council makes decision on its future

By Gerry Warren

Most pupils at the doomed Chaucer School in Canterbury have already left for pastures new, despite a consultation on its future only ending this week.

Kent County Council has revealed almost all students have been offered places at other schools since plans to close Chaucer were announced in February.

The news was released as it emerged just 27 parents responded to a consultation on the school’s future before Tuesday’s deadline, with 24 opposing its closure and three undecided.

The former Chaucer school
The former Chaucer school

KCC spokesman Ella Hughes admitted yesterday that the low response to the consultation had been surprising given the level of public interest.

She added: “Almost every child in Years 7, 8 and 9 has been offered and accepted a place in another school in the district. Most have already left and the rest are likely to be gone by Easter.”

Kevin Shovelton, KCC’s director of education planning and access, added: “We assume the number of responses is low because most parents are satisfied with the actions we have taken to ensure their children can be educated elsewhere or they can continue their GCSE courses on the Chaucer site.”

Under the proposal, Year 10 pupils will continue at the school until July next year after which the school will close in September.

The results of the consultation will be reported back to the KCC’s Cabinet on April 22.

The cabinet member for education Cllr Roger Gough will then decide whether to continue with closure plans. A final decision about the school’s future will be made on June 9.

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