Alpha Academies Trust has today confirmed that Stoke Studio College for Construction and the Built Environment (CaBE) will close on 31 August 2018. Stoke Studio College for Manufacturing and Design Excellence (MaDE) will also close in 12 months in 2019. The decision, taken in conjunction with the Department of Education, follows a four-week listening period and consideration of the views of stakeholders. This decision is due to too few students choosing to study at the Studio Colleges and this has impacted on the viability of the provision.
The decision to close will not affect existing students. The final cohort at CaBE studio school completed their GCSE level studies in June 2018. MaDE studio school will remain open until August 2019 to ensure that all of its current pupils are able to complete their studies as planned by summer 2018. The Trust will continue to ensure it fulfills its commitment to those students through the provision of high quality education and support.
It has also been agreed that the studio schools’ sites will remain with Alpha Academies Trust to provide additional alternative provision places through the relocation and expansion of Reach PRU, a local authority alternative provision setting which is due to convert and join the Trust on 1 September 2018.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Alpha Academies Trust, Ann Marie Lucy said: “The Stoke Studio Colleges have provided an excellent learning experience for many children in the City, however unfortunately the schools have not been able to recruit sufficient students. In particular the sixth form has struggled to attract prospective students. It is a sad reality that such small schools cannot continue long-term. We are very focused on honoring our commitment to pupils who are currently studying at MaDE, and the Department’s decision to keep MaDE open until summer 2019 ensures that the 34 pupils currently progressing into Year 11 will all be able to complete their GCSEs as planned”. A Department for Education spokesperson added: “After a ‘listening period’ with stakeholders, we have agreed to the closure of the Stoke Studio Schools run by Alpha Academies Trust. CaBE Studio School and MaDE Studio School will close at the end of the 2017/18 academic year and the 2018/19 academic year respectively. A number of options have been explored but Ministers have agreed that the schools, which have not operated above 25 per cent capacity, should close. The studio schools will close when the current cohorts complete their programmes of study to ensure that any impact on pupils is minimised. Ministers have also agreed that the sites will remain with the Trust to provide additional alternative provision places through the relocation and expansion of Reach PRU which is due to convert and join the Trust on 1 September 2018.”