West Berkshire Council

Theale Parish Council unable to take decision on new school

A project to build a new school in Theale was halted earlier this month

2016 - image of the entrance to the proposed new Theale Primary School

A project to build a new school in Theale was halted earlier this month. This follows continuing delays by Theale Parish Council (TPC) in making any decision on whether it would relinquish its lease on vital land, without which the school cannot go ahead.

Last night, just one day ahead of the decision deadline, TPC called a meeting to discuss the possibility of holding a Parish Meeting in order to call a Parish Poll.

TPC voted to hold Parish Meeting, however, no date was agreed for the meeting and although requested by a TPC Councillor, there was no agreement that they would adhere to outcomes of the Poll, which is not legally binding.

Cllr Lynne Doherty, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Education said:

"We are frustrated and saddened by TPC's inability to take a decision, as are those within the village who are concerned that their children will not be able to be educated locally in the future. However, due process must be followed and once the result of the Poll is known, the council will contact TPC to establish when they will make a formal decision on whether to relinquish the lease or not.

"The education needs of all children in Theale can no longer be met by the current provision. As it stands, Theale School will drop down to admission of 30 for September 2019 intake, unless TPC provide a written agreement by end of February, which would mean TPC actually taking a vote to do so. This has clear implications for residents wanting to place their children at their local school."