Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Studio School to close after five years

Isle of Wight Studio School Image copyright Isle of Wight Studio School
Image caption The school said it was "not financially viable"

A studio school preparing pupils for careers in marine manufacturing and renewable energy is set to close after just five years.

Isle of Wight Studio School said it had too few pupils, in common with other studio schools around the country.

The first UK studio schools opened in 2010, combining academic studies with work-based training.

The Department for Education said the school was only 40% full and should close in August 2019.

It said parents would be consulted about the closure until 16 May, before a final decision is made.

Image copyright Isle of Wight Studio School
Image caption The sixth form was closed last year because of "insufficient demand"

The school opened in East Cowes in 2014 with a planned capacity of 300 pupils, aged 14 to 19.

It closed its sixth form last year because of "insufficient demand".

The remaining 120 pupils are being allowed to finish their GCSE courses.

Inspire Academy Trust, which runs the school, said it was not "financially viable long-term in its current form".

Head teacher Richard White said the sixth form had never been "fully utilised" because many students left at the age of 16.

Finance officer Richard Bryant said: "Student recruitment is a problem which has affected many studio schools across the country."

'Happy school'

East Cowes councillor Karl Love urged parents to resist the closure.

He posted on social media: "The school is not closing because of its performance... it's clearly a happy school."

Previously the government said the school would work closely with local employers such as the Navitus Bay offshore wind farm and oil pollution firm Vikoma.

Navitus Bay was refused permission by the government in 2015.

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