Sir George met the four heads of the schools in Andover whose future is under discussion as Hampshire County Council consults on the future of the town's schools.
"Last Friday, I went to both Shepherds Spring and Knights Enham and met the Head Teachers, along with Governors and parents. Clearly, this is a very stressful time for all of them - and indeed for the children. Of course Hampshire County Council, as a responsible education authority, has to review the provision of schools in the town - particularly as the Audit Commission has commented on the number of spare places in the county's schools. But the process of consultation and the uncertainty that goes with it is an added pressure on all concerned, when their top priority is to provide high quality education. I hope that this process can be completed as quickly as is possible, compatible with proper consultation."
"Ideally, I would like to see the four schools left as they are; there is fierce local loyalty for them, and any turbulence would be a major distraction."
"If that is not possible, we need to look at all other options, short of closure and dispersal."