The plan to cease secondary education at Sandown Bay Academy has been withdrawn, and a commitment to keep the school open has been secured, according to the Isle of Wight Council.

The focus has now shifted to the evaluation of two remaining options. These options are either to transfer leadership of the school to another academy sponsor with a proven track record – or to expand the age range of The Bay CE Primary School creating what is described as ‘an all through school’. The Isle of Wight Council says the latter is its preferred option.

According to a statement from the local authority AET has committed to support the Department for Education (DfE) and council’s plans for Sandown Bay this academic year, and will help with an ‘orderly transition’ before stepping aside.

AET will be continuing their role at Sandown’s sister school, Ryde Academy.

It is expected that a final decision on the way forward for Sandown will be made by mid October.

Leader of the Council, Dave Stewart has said:

“This is a really positive outcome from what has been a very challenging issue for the new Island Conservative administration to address and I am grateful to all concerned for their hard work and commitment which has led to the position we have now achieved. The common agreement we have reached is that whatever the final option, a good standard of secondary education will continue to be provided at Sandown and indeed our aspiration is for the new school arrangements to lead to outstanding educational outcomes – because this is what the pupils deserve and need for a successful future.”

This was echoed by Councillor Paul Brading (Cabinet member for Children’s Services), who said:

“I am absolutely thrilled that secondary education will continue for the Sandown community. The announcement means that we can have a fresh start in Sandown and we now have to make sure that the future arrangement delivers high standards and outstanding educational provision. More of the same is not acceptable – better education has to be provided.”