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School to close with 104 job losses
A SCHOOL for children and young people with profound disabilities in Chipping Norton will close, causing 104 job losses.
Action for Children confirmed this afternoon that Penhurst School, in Worcester Road, which supports 13 youngsters, some of whom also have complex medical needs, will shut its doors in May.
The charity launched a consultation with staff, families and the public about the proposed closure in October last year.
Barbara Street, Action for Children operational director of children’s services, said the full range of alternatives had been considered.
She said: “We fully understand that many people will be saddened by this decision, but despite our best efforts the school has become unsustainable.
“Nationally, there has been an increasing move away from this way of providing care, towards placing more children and young people nearer their local community.
“As a result the number of children and young people at Penhurst has been steadily falling and the school ran a substantial deficit last year.
“Based on current projections, there will only be five children and young people at the school within two years.”
She added: “We are deeply saddened to have to make this announcement. We would not have made this decision if we had any viable alternative.”
Ms Street said the charity was working with local authorities to find alternative placements for the children.