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After detailed discussions with the Department for Education and Westminster City Council, the REAch2 Board has come to the difficult decision that Minerva Primary School in Westminster should close at the end of the school year. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System has given his in-principle agreement for the school to close.

Reach2 took on Minerva Academy in 2014 from another trust, and from the outset, it has had a challenging time with both site issues and pupil numbers.

The school opened in what was supposed to be temporary accommodation on the Edgware Road and then recently moved premises to Praed Street. This site restricts the number of pupils, which itself limits the school’s ability to operate at full capacity. The site also has no outdoor space for children to play and is not purpose built for education.

These factors have had a significant impact on pupil numbers, which has been compounded by a fall in pupil numbers across the local area. Minerva is therefore only half-full, which makes it extremely challenging for the school to be financially viable.

The final decision to close the academy will be taken by the Secretary of State for Education. REAch2 is today starting a formal four-week listening period, to hear from those affected. A final decision from the Department for Education is anticipated by April, to allow enough time to support existing pupils and staff to find a new school for September.

Westminster City Council have provided assurances that there are places in Good or Outstanding schools for every Minerva pupil. We are working closely with them to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for our families.