Elsley School’s move to the Nightingale site looks like being made permanent. The site has been empty for some time now, and on occasion been a cause for concern and problem for neighbouring residents.

To be fair I’m not that surprised. I was chairman of governors at the school immediately before it ‘federated’ with Nightingale, the school that was effectively its big brother. At the time the school had a number of problems (some of which I was there to try and address) but one of the biggest was the sheer inadequacy of the building as a modern school – problems compounded by it being a special school.

And a Victorian school building often isn’t that suitable for anything anymore. It’s hard to imagine how the spaces within can be productively used for anything. The council will be demolishing the remaining buildings on the site (the Pupil Referral Unit was demolished some months ago) which will also enhance the overall security of the area for local residents and the site declared surplus to requirements.

In a way it’s sad, since the building clearly has history – there are some fascinating old photos of the school from Victorian times – but putting emotion to one side and looking at the site rationally it is, sadly, no longer a viable site for education and in its current state of no use to the wider council.

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