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Have read Govenors minutes, in a predicament .

(33 Posts)

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Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 18:50:08

Have changed my name for this. Going to keep brief but need advice.
All of my children go to a very small primary, numbers have dwindled and they have been doing a lot of cut costing. Losing members of staff etc etc… This has lead to rumours about whether it could close. Headmaster says it's not going to and have dismissed rumours.I have requested governors minutes, not on website but managed to get as I personally wanted to find out for myself. It's not looking good, there have been meetings between different people. Lots of information to confirm it's in real danger of closing unless we get more children very soon. I'm very close to a lot of the parents and they have no idea. I don't want to tell anyone as it feels like stirring things and if people decide to leave, feel like it would be my doing :-( Shouldn't the school inform the parents? I suppose they are worried for it to get out. Does anyone know the process of how much notice they would give people? My son goes into final year....

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LilyMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-May-19 19:38:02

We're just moving this over to the staffroom for the OP. flowers

CraftyGin Wed 29-May-19 20:52:42

If schools inform parents of a risk of closure (even a tiny risk), they will flee and it will be a done deal.

Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 21:13:53

Yes, I get that. If they do decide to close, will there be a warning, time to object etc...does anyone know? Could they close immediately or do they have to give a terms notice?

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FATEdestiny Wed 29-May-19 21:19:49

It's unlikely they'll close but may merge or join an academy chain for a cash injection.

CloudRusting Wed 29-May-19 21:22:14

Is this state or private?

Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 21:23:42

State school.

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Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 21:24:10

Already merged with 4 schools

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FATEdestiny Wed 29-May-19 21:29:52

It's likely to join an academy chain yo be bailed out financially.

Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 21:40:21

It's already in a federation. Not the same of an academy but surely unlikely an academy would take it on I would think

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ImGenderfree Wed 29-May-19 21:43:21

I live in a rural area with a mix of towns and small villages - I’m aware of 2 schools that have closed - one rural that didn’t have enough pupils due to the population and the other in a market town that had a poor Ofsted and never recovered and sufficient places in other schools. Both had to go through a consultation process and there are other requirements such as ensuring the number of places in other schools is sufficient to take children at the school. See the link for statutory guidance on closing a school.
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756328/Opening_and_Closing_maintained_schools_Guidance.pdf

Anon246810 Wed 29-May-19 21:47:07

Thank you. Will take a look. We are down to 21 in school(ages 4-11) such a shame as very good Ofsted, doing well academically.

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Anon246810 Thu 30-May-19 09:13:01

Should I talk to the school about this? Would the teachers know if they aren't govenors? And haven't read the minutes...

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Ohhgreat Thu 30-May-19 19:17:13

If you tell the school you know, you'll have to explain how you know. Would this get the person's who provided you the minutes in trouble?

Anon246810 Thu 30-May-19 20:26:07

No, the minutes are a public documents, but you need to ask for them

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newjobnerves Thu 30-May-19 20:39:21

Why don't you just give the headmaster a call or the chair of governors to ask about the minutes in more detail?

MarniLou Thu 30-May-19 20:44:35

Firstly very unlikely that an academy trust would want these small schools. Trusts are able to cherry pick and won't be interested in an unviable school. ( a failure in the system). A process of 'due diligence' is carried out on all schools undergoing academistation, this has to have positive findings for the trust before they will go ahead.

Many small schools are really struggling with budget cuts and with the huge expectations ( breadth of curriculum, middle leadership, adequate staffing) and some are having to close.

Closure is a long process carried out with the LA and with all stakeholders consulted. Governors will be at the center of the consultation.
The closure process usually takes at least 2 terms from the start of the process and can be longer.

There will be public meetings where all stakeholders can express their views. Consultation on closure is not a 'done deal' but chance to explore the option of closure and make a decision.

Schools undergoing this may lose pupils as word gets out, meaning the school is less viable. Conversely parents stick it out to try and save the school. Often the local community are quite vocal about a village school closure as this removes facilities from the village ( in some people's eyes making the village less attractive).

Sadly given national government cuts to the education system this has become much more common, especially in small rural schools.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 30-May-19 21:02:37

The minutes are public documents, unless they’re part 2, which aren’t.

Anon246810 Thu 30-May-19 21:14:42

Thank you MarniLou,

It says in Governors minutes the diocese and County have met to discuss viability, lots of cut costing options have been discussed which they have applied, but this was a few months ago...So parents would have at least 2 terms notice? I'm worried they going to land it on us before July if it happens.

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MarniLou Thu 30-May-19 21:27:14

I've just 'googled' This is a closure in process to give you an example of the legalities and timescales.

https://www.bleasdale.lancs.sch.uk/consultation-on-proposed-closure

MarniLou Thu 30-May-19 21:34:10

I think nearly all school governing bodies are meeting to discuss cost savings, that isn't a shock!

Talking about closure will be one of a range of options to discuss. Unfortunately, due to lack of central government funding there just isn't enough funding and even with a shared HT across schools, funding per pupil is never going to cover a shared HT, adequate staffing, resources, buildings etc. given the small numbers of pupils. Tied with this is often high house prices in the villages, so less and less young families.

Sign of austerity I'm afraid and also of a London centric government who don't understand rurality.

Anon246810 Thu 30-May-19 22:38:58

MarniLou - Gosh, that school that you sent me thr link for has only 2 pupils!! Makes our school look huge at 21!!!not sure how that school has kept going for so long!!

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MarniLou Fri 31-May-19 11:35:44

Has the information helped you Anon? It would be quite fine, once the school is open, to ask the HT about this. The minutes are public, if governors were worried about the news getting out they would have had the option to,put them into confidential minutes. They haven't done this.
Sometimes it is better to be more open, to gain local support including 'word of mouth' to encourage more families to bring their children.

Of course the school I linked could have had more children than two, but when the news regarding possible closure was announced parents removed their child, meaning that at the start of consultation only two were left.

Very sad times for our rural communities.

fedup21 Fri 31-May-19 11:43:15

Should I talk to the school about this? Would the teachers know if they aren't govenors? And haven't read the minutes...

How many teachers are there? I can imagine there are many! 1, maybe 2?!

If your school only has 21pupils, I will imagine it will come as no surprise to anyone that it will close.

Anon246810 Fri 31-May-19 17:01:39

2 classes, 2 teachers

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