Governors of Fletching Primary School look set to be thrown a lifeline in their bid to prevent closure of the school.
A recommendation, going before East Sussex County Council’s lead member for education on Monday, December 23, is for a consultation into the closure to be stopped.
A press release from the council says that while the authority believes the school remains in a vulnerable position this would give the governing body the opportunity to address a budget challenge and explore sustainable strategies to attract more pupils to the school.
The press release says that since the launch of the consultation Fletching Primary School’s PTA has been actively fund-raising to try to address a predicted budget deficit of £145,863 by 2021/22 and has funding commitments of £74,368.
The release adds: “Governors at the school assume the school will pick up additional pupils from new house building in the surrounding area, further alleviating pressure on budgets, although the county council’s own forecasts do not match that of the governors.”
The news is not as good for Broad Oak Primary School, a second school threatened with closure.
Council officers are recommending that a statutory proposal for the closure of the school be published.
That would open up a four-week period of representation where people can make further comment. A final decision on the proposals is expected to be taken by a lead member in March.
Broad Oak has been undersubscribed for the last five years and nearly two thirds of pupils at the school live outside the school’s community area.
The governing board’s three-year budget plan shows a £203,435 deficit by 2021/22, despite the school already having restructured in September 2019 to make savings, and pupil numbers are not expected to rise.