Campaigners' plea not to sell former school for housing

Labour Councillor's Matt Packer and Julie Brociek-Coulton are leading the fight to reopen Angel Road Junior School 

Labour councillors Matt Packer and Julie Brociek-Coulton are leading the fight to reopen Angel Road Junior School - Credit: Matt Packer

Campaigners have urged the council and an academic trust not to let a former school be converted into housing. 

Concerns have been raised that the Angel Road Junior School may be sold to developers. 

The building has been empty since last July, with pupils taught in space borrowed from neighbouring schools - with all children to be based on the infant school site from September 2022.

The junior school building, which is more than 100 years old, is set to be returned to the county council with question marks over how it will be used in future.

But Labour city and county councillor for the area, Julie Brociek-Coulton, has said it must be retained for the area's benefit. 

She said: “I have been a city councillor for 18 years and all my children have gone to that school. It would be a big concern if it was sold off. 

“Neighbours have also been sharing their concerns with us on this matter.” 

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She added it would be a “catastrophe” for the area if the school were to be sold off to developers.

John Fisher, cabinet member (Cons) for Children’s Services, said no decisions have yet been made, adding: “We are working with the Evolution Academy Trust, which runs Angel Road Junior School and has made the decision to accommodate the school’s children across the road at the infant school site, making a single site for both schools.

“We would always consider school land to be reused for education purposes first, but it is possible the site could be put to an alternative use or put forward for sale."

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Sewell ward councillor Matt Packer (Lab) has submitted Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Evolution Trust as part of local councillors' efforts to find out why the much-loved school closed.

He said: “We have established that just a few years ago the roof was sound and well maintained. 

"Leaks developed and brought down parts of the ceilings but we have found nothing that suggests the building can’t be economically repaired.” 

Matthew Packer, Labour councillor for Sewell. Pic: Labour Party.

Matthew Packer, Labour councillor for Sewell. Pic: Labour Party. - Credit: Labour Party

He said: “If we are ultimately unable to save it as the school we know and love we will be fighting for it to become a community hub."