Isle of Wight parents have been voicing their concerns as the council looks to tackle surplus school places on the Island.

An Island-wide review is once again being undertaken, which could lead to the closure of some schools, but some parents say there are 'more questions than answers'.

The local authority insists change is needed as there are currently too many school places and not enough pupils to fill them.

Having previously come under fire for publicly naming schools earmarked for possible closure, this time round the council is taking a different approach.

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It plans to launch a formal consultation, but not before a series of public drop-ins for parents and staff are held.

Speaking at one of those sessions, at the Riverside Centre, Newport, Jade Kennett, service manager for strategic development at the council, said the issue of surplus places is one that needs addressing.

She said: "In 2014, we had roughly 1,400 children entering the school system at reception age each year.

"By September 2027, we anticipate that decline into 920 pupils, so almost a third less.

Isle of Wight County Press: From left: Naomi Carter service director for education, and Jade Kennett, service manager for strategic development.From left: Naomi Carter service director for education, and Jade Kennett, service manager for strategic development. (Image: IWCP)

"Before we name schools, we'll be speaking to the public.

"We have done these sessions as engagements so that we can give and get the level of understanding."

Among those at the Newport drop-in session were parents-of-three, Bonnie and Sean Hastings.

They said the council's previous approach of naming schools was 'farcical' and questioned what would happen if schools are closed now, but years down the line pupil admission numbers (PANs) boom.

Meanwhile, parent Jason Thomas, who also works in a school and is a governor, said he understands the process has got to happen, but admits he does have worries.

He said: "A major concern for lots of people is 'what's going to happen to our jobs, what's going to happen to those children from closed schools, are they going to have to be transported'?"

Also at the sessions is information on plans to increase school places for children with special educational needs.

The council wants to expand St George's School, by creating a 'satellite' provision at the former Studio School in East Cowes.

Upcoming drop-in sessions

Thursday, April 18: Freshwater Memorial Hall, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Monday, April 22: Ryde Academy, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Wednesday, April 24, Cowes Enterprise College, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Thursday, April 25, The Bay CE School, Sandown, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Wednesday, May 1, Wroxall Community Centre, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.