A CONSULTATION to permanently close a school in Thornbury is under way, officials say.

People are being asked for their views on closing Sheiling School, which currently teaches 30 students aged six to 19.

The independent school supports students with a range of SEND needs including social, emotional and/or mental health needs, autism and ADHD.

The school - which dates back to 1952 - teaches students based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner and also offers day placements, weekly and full boarding.

A reader told the Gazette that staff have been informed that the school could close in August.

When contacted by the Gazette about local concerns about its future, a spokesperson from school said: “We can confirm that there is a formal consultation taking place with staff at the school.

“Once the consultation has concluded any outcome will be communicated formally to all stakeholders.”

It is understood any final decision about potentially closing the school would need to be ratified by the Department for Education.

The Department for Education is the regulator of all independent schools, including independent SEND schools.

Gazette Series: A consultation is running about the future of the Sheiling School in ThornburyA consultation is running about the future of the Sheiling School in Thornbury (Image: Google Maps)

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said: “We are aware that The Sheiling School is considering the future of the provision.

“We are currently in discussion with trustees to understand the impact for the local area.”

The school was previously rated as requiring improvement by Ofsted after it was visited by inspectors in November 2023.

According to a report by SGC, based on data from October 2017, 6,111 school children have SEND in the district, 3.2 per cent of the school population.

This figure is higher than the national average at 2.8 per cent of the rest of England.

Meanwhile, two new SEND schools are due to open in the area this year including Two Bridges Academy next to Marlwood School and Castlefell School near the A38 in Rudgeway.