Former Barnfield academy to be axed after ‘underperforming’

Studio School, York Street, Luton
Studio School, York Street, Luton

A school which was set up by the Barnfield Federation will be closed at the end of the academic year, it has been announced.

The Studio School, on York Street, Luton, has the capacity for 300 students but at present just 66 pupils are on its roll.

The Shared Learning Trust– which took control of the school after the breakup of the Barnfield Federation– has decided to close it after looking closely at the school’s “long term viability”.

A dozen staff members are affected by the move.

Shared Learning Trust chief executive Andrew Cooper said: “This was an incredibly difficult decision.

“But to ensure we give our pupils the best possible educational chances, at all of our academies, we’ve had to take a step back and look at whether what we’re trying to achieve at the Studio School is working– with so few students, it clearly isn’t.

“There are 66 pupils and 12 members of staff who will be really upset by this.

“I’d like to promise them that, wherever possible, we will find them places at our other academies or elsewhere if appropriate.

“We will work hard with our students and their families to make sure the best solution is found for each individual student with absolutely

minimum disruption to their ongoing education.”

The Studio School – which teaches pupils between the ages of 14 and 18 – differs from other secondary schools across the town as it offers a range of vocational qualifications as well as teaching the national curriculum.

Students in its sixth form undertake up to 12 hours of work experience every week.

After its last Ofsted inspection in October 2014 The Studio School was said to ‘require improvement’.

Mr Cooper added: “As a trust we inherited an underperforming academy in the Studio School.

“The team has tried so hard to turn it round.

“But there comes a point when you have to look at the pupil numbers, and the finances too, and accept that you’ve done all you can.”