The school, which has served the village for 135 years, is part of the Keskowethans Multi-Academy Trust; in March 2017, the Trust disclosed plans that it was considering the option of closing the school due to falling pupil numbers.
24th March, 2017
Derek meets with David Murray and agrees to support parents and campaigners fighting to keep the school open.
4th May, 2017
Keskowethans MAT launches consultation document which recommends that the school closes at the end of the 2017 summer term.
13th June, 2017
St Martin parish councillors write to express their concern at the proposal.
21st June, 2017
Derek meets South-west Schools Commissioner and Education Minister to discuss situation.
24th June, 2017
Derek attends a meeting in St Martin-in-Meneage with parents and campaigners wanting to keep the school open. Following the meeting he writes to the directors of the Keskowethyans MAT asking for an immediate pause in the programme to close the school and for a three-year period to give people the opportunity to work up plans to put the school on a secure footing.
10th July, 2017
Directors of the Keskowethyans MAT announce that they will be seeking permission from the Dept for Education to close the school but that it will re-open in September.
19th October, 2017
Derek meets Schools Minister Nick Gibb to discuss the school.
6th-20th November, 2017
Derek sends out survey (by post and online) to households in St Martin-in-Meneage and the surrounding area asking residents for their opinions on St Martin School.
17th November, 2017
Derek meets with the South-west Schools Commissioner for further discussions.
18th December, 2017
The South-West Schools Commissioner announces that St Meneage School will close at the end of January, 2018. Derek says the news would be greeted with “great sadness” by many in the local community.
In addition, he said: “The closure raises questions about how the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust was set up six years ago and whether it has been the best thing for the children and their parents.
“I have been promised further meetings with the Education Minister to discuss what can be learnt from this. We need to ensure that parents’ concerns about their local schools can be heard much sooner.”