Help! Our school is down for closure!!(7 Posts)
Anyone out there ever managed to help stop a school being closed which has been down for closure by their council? My DD's primary school has been targeted amongst 2 others. Yes at the moment the school roll doesn't look healthy but there are planned building developments in the pipeline (100 houses to be built). The other 2 nearest schools which are nearer to built up areas are over subscribed but apparently to avoid costly appeal processes the council override those schools decisions to turn pupils away and make them accept them even though the schools are fit to burst instead of directing them to our school which is half a mile away!!! Its a lovely school and everyones in shock-parents are planning to set up campaign group. Has anyone ever been through this?
There must be some reason why parents are not choosing your school. The successful campaigns I have seen revolve around getting more children and being popular. I wonder if the council is selling off your school to fund expansion at the others. I know of schools with less than 20 on roll 20 years ago that are now flourishing. Can you leaflet nurseries and make a big effort to let people know you exist? Invite the nursery staff and children to the school. Start a nursery yourself.
You have to prove you are needed and valued by your community. I know of village schools where parents travel miles to get there and drive by several schools in the process. Your governors need to be far more proactive and get into marketing. Parents too. Obviously use the new houses as a bargaining position. Make sure your school does lots of community events so people will really want it to stay open.
I would also check if the council can just close it. I think Governors have a role to play in this too. You have to prove it is needed.
Thanks for that Millymollymama!!! I actually drive four miles to get to it myself..I moved my children there from a school that was failing them badly and I was really impressed and others followed me there. The level of teaching is excellent and the staff really care for the children. Unfortunately its in a small village and I do think management and governors could have done more to promote the school although a few years ago when they tried a leaflet drop they got reprimanded for stepping on the toes of one of the neighbouring schools! I can see that closure is inevitable but its absolutely heartbreaking and I wondered if anyone else had been through this experience.
Join the National Association of Small Schools. They have loads of information. Councils have a legal obligation to keep rural schools open. Are you on the small school's register? This gives you small school status and is published on the Government's web site via the Governors' Guide to the Law.
You should definitely try and get school population projections for the area. Prove the school is needed. Can you federate with another school? I know small schools that have done this. One is the Infant School and the other is the Junior School. This works well if two schools near each other are likely to close.
I am not a parent at such a school, but in have insight into what might work.
If it's helpful, put this into Google
dilwyn primary school hereford closure
for an example of what one school did faced with what sounds like a similar situation.
I think you need to establish the exact reasons for closure. It is quite unusual at this time for schools to be shut, it is all about opening and extending schools.
So I wonder whether there is an issue over finances. I cannot also believe that the decision to move to a closure consultation has happened without some discussion with the governing body. What do they say?
As for getting told for advertising on another school's patch I can only suggest that in this circumstances, who cares what the LA or other schools think, it is about survival and you will get eaten up if you are just passive.
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