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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
County schools under the spotlight
Three schools could close under a controversial review of secondary education in Gloucestershire.

A total of 13 secondary schools in Gloucester, and all the county's sixth forms, are affected by what is being billed as the biggest shake-up in education since comprehensives were introduced.

Last year, Ofsted said the provision of sixth form education in the county was "unplanned, uneconomic and ill-fitted to the needs of many students in smaller schools."

Under the review, sixth form provision at the smallest schools could end, and a new college could be created in Gloucester Docks, or linked to Gloscat.

This is a breath-taking party political attack on some of the city's best schools
Jackie Hall

The Crypt School in Gloucester, which dates to 1539, looks certain to close, or be merged with Ribston High School.

Oxtsalls and Central Technology also face an uncertain future.

Peter Clarke, Labour & Co-operative leader of the county council, said: "Our current system is not allowing all schools and all pupils to succeed.

"There is evidence that a proportion of our young people do not achieve their full potential."

Spring 2004

But the Conservatives have attacked the proposals as an attack on the county's grammar schools.

Jackie Hall, education spokesperson, said: "This is a breath-taking party political attack on some of the city's best schools.

"Every single option involves closing at least one of the county's grammar schools."

A series of public consultations and meetings is underway, with pupils, governors and parents all invited to have their say.

This process is likely to last several months, with no decisions made until spring 2004.

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