Campaign launched to save Fletching Primary School

A campaign has been launched to save Fletching Primary School following an announcement that East Sussex County Council is considering closing it.fletching primary school (1)

Villagers are appealing for support for the school, the village, and parental freedom of choice.

They say: “Join us at the decisive open meeting with the council in County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, at 10am, on Monday, June 24.”

 Review

A council press release says the proposal to close Fletching Primary School – and Broad Oak Community Primary – follows an extensive review of places at 62 rural schools across the county.

Both schools could close close August 31, 2020.

Surplus places

The council says this would reduce the number of surplus places in each area and “have a positive impact on other local schools and the provision they can make for all pupils”.

Stuart Gallimore, East Sussex County Council’s director for children’s services, said: “The council has a statutory duty to ensure that schools are in the right location, are of sufficient size, and are financially able to deliver a high quality education that meets the needs of their local community.  We are committed to working in close partnership with schools, the dioceses and key partners to achieve this.

Enormity

“I understand the enormity of these proposals for pupils and their parents, school staff and communities, but doing nothing will not alleviate the problems these schools face, and could lead to more widespread uncertainty and difficulties for other schools in the local area.”

Surplus spaces at Fletching CE Primary School are expected to increase from 34 per cent to 40 per cent by 2021. Currently 71 children attend the school, which has a capacity of 105, and nearly two thirds live outside the school’s community area.

Undersubscribed

The school has been undersubscribed for the last five years. For admissions purposes the Fletching community area will be merged with the St Peter’s Chailey CE Primary School community area.

Broad Oak Community Primary School has been undersubscribed for the last five years. The school has 81 pupils against a capacity of 140, with nearly two thirds of pupils at the school living outside the school’s community area. For admissions purposes the Heathfield community area will be extended to incorporate the Broad Oak community area.

Support

The council says the Diocese of Chichester, as equal partner, has taken a full role in the review of school places and fully supports the proposals being recommended.

Reviews were also carried out in the Alfriston, Battle, Ringmer, Robertsbridge, rural Crowborough, rural Hailsham, rural Uckfield, Rye, South Chailey and Wadhurst areas. The reviews concluded that no school closures are required in these areas.

Details of the lead member meeting on Monday, June 24, and the full report can be viewed here.

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