PARENTS are up in arms over the proposed closure of Verdin High School and Woodford Lodge to make way for a new academy.

The closure of the two schools is under a six week consultation due to end today, but parents at a meeting of Winsford Town Council this week said that information provided by Cheshire West and Chester Council has been ‘inadequate’.

Lynne Miller, who attended the meeting on Monday with her daughter - a pupil at Woodford Lodge, said: “We have not been provided with the information as promised. Everyone has a view but without the information how on earth can we respond?”

Councillors also read letters from parents who were horrified to have first learnt of the plans from the front page of the Winsford Guardian in March.

At the start of the consultation period - which against government guidelines fell over the two week Easter break - parents were issued with a glossy brochure and a response form to comment on whether they agree or disagree with the plans and space to make further comment.

However one parent described this as merely ‘box ticking’.

The brochure promised further guidance within the six week period but parents claim they have not received any further documents.

They also said that two consultation meetings held at both high schools in March were not well advertised and that some parents were not informed of the meetings until it was too late.

Councillors agreed, saying the two meetings weren’t sufficient for parents that worked.

Despite the majority of the council in favour of the plans to open an academy in the town they supported the concerns of the parents by calling for the consultation period to be extended to December this year.

If it isn’t extended beyond today, the decision on the academy will be made in a weeks time, which could see the two schools closed in August this year and reopen as an academy operating from both sites in September.

Town Mayor Councillor, Nick Harris said: “This is not consultation this is direction - I can’t see why this has to be rushed for September 1.”

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