FOLLOWING the approval for a judicial review into the consultation over special schools, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet has confirmed it will not discuss potential school closures at its meeting this month.

It had been expected that a final decision on the future of special schools St Nicholas’ in Chippenham and Larkrise in Trowbridge would be made during the cabinet meeting on March 26.

However, following a hearing into the case held in Cardiff courts on Friday, a judicial review is planned for mid April, and no council decisions will be made before the review.A Wiltshire Council spokesman confirmed that special school provision will not be discussed during next week’s meeting. Parents raised over £10k to launch a legal battle against the consultation held into how children with special educational needs will be taught in the future.

Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan said:"The decision is short sighted given the housing development taking place and planned for Chippenham. The closure of both schools would be cruel on the current children many of whom have severe disabilities and will now have to endure long distressing travel times before their school day even begins.”

“I am very concerned about the proposed closure of St Nicholas School and Larkrise. Chippenham is growing meaning there is now more need than ever for a special school based in our town. The closures will mean much longer journey times for children which will put such an unbearable strain on the children and their families.

All our children deserve to have the best start in life with good educations and we must ensure that this includes excellent facilities. I do appreciate that currently St Nicholas School does not have the space to expand to cater for the increase in demand but the answer is therefore to move the school to a new premise in Chippenham - not to close it.