04 July 2019
A Bristol-based school providing education to students outside the mainstream system is to close in October 2019, it was announced today.
Charity Catch22, which has operated the Bristol include School since 2015, said the decision followed a review of the challenges posed by providing high quality education across the school’s seven rented buildings.
Executive Principal of Catch22 schools, Jane Reed said: “We recognise that this is sad news for students, parents, carers and of course our staff who have worked incredibly hard to deliver the best education possible in challenging circumstances. Unfortunately, the reality is that the buildings which make up the school are generally not suited to providing the kind of learning environment we aspire to.
“We also face a continuing challenge in recruiting the specialist staff we need to support the young people in our care, many of whom have special educational needs. Together these factors have forced us to conclude that our students are more likely to thrive at a school which is not facing these kinds of inherent problems.”
The school is scheduled to close on 25 October 2019. Until then it will continue to support around 80 students aged 14-19 who have been excluded or referred from mainstream school.
The school operates across seven separate sites up to 30 miles apart in Bristol and Wiltshire. None of the buildings, which are all leased from private landlords, were designed for educational use. Catch22 has invested heavily in adapting and maintaining the buildings but many remain unsuitable as school premises and the high standards set out in the Independent School Standards. One is a listed building and therefore subject to tight planning restrictions and few have any outdoor space.
Ms Reed added: “Minimising the impact of this decision on our students’ education is our number one priority. We have written to parents informing them of the closure plans and will be working closely with our local authority partners to support their efforts to find alternative school places in an environment more conducive to high-quality education.”
The Catch22 Bristol include School is an Ofsted approved Alternative provision (AP) school.
The Bristol include School sites:
- 6-7 Dean Street, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 8SF
- Silverthorne and St Vincent’s: St Vincent’s Works, Silverthorne Lane,Bristol, BS2 0QD
- East Street (‘Bedminster’), First Floor, 150-154a East Street, Bedminster,Bristol, BS3 4EW
- Unit A1, Danlers Business Centre, Bumpers Farm Trading Estate,Chippenham, SN14 6NQ
- Handle House, Stallard Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8HN
- 54 Moravian Road, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 8ND
- 10 Redfield Road, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, BA3 2JN
Josie Cochrane, Communications Manager, Catch22
Catch22 is a social business, a not for profit business with a social mission, which has been operating for 200 years. Our vision is a strong society where everyone has good people around them, a purpose, and a good place to live. Today we work across children’s social care, deliver alternative education, get people into work through apprenticeships and employability programmes, build stronger communities through social action, and deliver social justice and rehabilitation services.