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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
25m school shut after five years
Plans have been made to close a secondary school in Essex built at a cost of 25m five years ago.

Bishops Park College in Clacton opened in 2002 and was hailed as a state-of-the-art school for 900 pupils.

Falling pupil numbers have led to Essex County Council announcing plans to discuss the future of the school with pupils currently numbering about 500.

Mike Davis, school head, said council errors had led to a successful school that "shouldn't have been built".

In a statement, Essex County Council said "forecast pupil numbers continue to decline" and education chiefs would be working closely with local schools to discuss options for future use of the multi-million pound site.

'Numbers wrong'

Councillor Tracey Chapman said: "With parents displaying a lack of confidence and choosing to move away from the school it is necessary that we take action.

"I would like to take this opportunity to assure the local community that we will keep them fully informed, that they will be given the chance to make their views known as part of the consultation and that their children's education will not suffer as a result of any changes."

The council said Bishops Park College was designed to cater to an expected increase in pupil numbers in the area, and without the new school there would be a shortage of school places.

However, new projections show nearby Colbayns High School would be able to accommodate all new pupils by 2012.

Mr Davis told BBC News: "We're very proud of Bishops Park.

"[The council] know they got their numbers fundamentally wrong - at the end of the day the county council has spent something like 25m on a school that should never have been built."

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