Community rallies together to try and save special school Meldreth Manor

Meldreth Manor School

Meldreth Manor School - Credit: Archant

A petition has been launched to save a special school and children’s home from closure.

Last week the Crow reported that Meldreth Manor School and Orchard Manor in Fenny Lane was set to shut its doors because it was running at a loss.

Since then, the community has pulled together to rally against the board of trustee’s proposal to close the school by March next year.

A Twitter account @ManorSave and Facebook group ‘Save Meldreth Manor’ have been set up to spread the word. Many people have also spoken out on social media to share their shock at the proposal.

Christine Taylor took to Twitter to say: “Utterly devastated for all those reliant on its services for respite and residential care.”

Sarah Hudson tweeted: “@ManorSave - a one of a kind service that provides specialist care like no other.”

Meldreth county councillor Susan van de Ven described the news as ‘very sad’ and said the school’s departure would leave a ‘great emptiness’ in the community.

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She said: “The greatest concern now must be for the future opportunity and wellbeing of the children and young people who live there.

“We know that enrolment has declined over many years as the county council has increasingly found placements in mainstream schools.

“But this doesn’t work for everyone, and one has to ask what alternatives will exist for those who need the specialist education and support offered after the school and transition service have closed.”

The school is run by disability charity Scope. Director of services James Watson-O’Neill said: “This is a very difficult proposal for us to make.

“Numbers have been falling in recent years, and we will have just nine residential students at Meldreth Manor and eight young adults living at Orchard Manor – which offers a transition to adult services – from September 2015.”

To sign the petition, click here. A consultation period will run from now until September 17.