Here is the latest on the future of two Chichester primary schools

Despite months of campaigns, protests and pleas to remain open, a Chichester primary school has been left with only one option — closure.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:30 am
A few hardy souls gathered in the rain at County Hall to oppose plans to close three small schools on Tuesday morning as Storm Brendan hits

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, it was agreed the consultations into closing Rumboldswhyke Infant School in the city, Stedham Primary near Midhurst and another near Worthing from September would go ahead. Read more here

Headteacher Debbie Allen and chairman of the interim executive board, Kevin Jenkins, said: “The options for Rumboldswhyke CE Infant School following its inadequate Ofsted inspection in May 2019 have always been very narrow, academisation or closure. We are aware that efforts by WSCC with the diocese to find an academy sponsor have been unsuccessful. As outlined in the officer’s report this left the one option of closure, which the council’s cabinet this week approved to consult on.

“The school’s interim leadership team are very mindful of the impact this decision will have on pupils, parents and staff and are working with all of them during this period to ensure that they are all supported.

“The focus remains on ensuring that the pupils receive a good learning experience during this time.”

The Save Rumboldswyke School team, which submitted a petition signed by more than 1,300 people, said the closure plan is going ahead despite evidence of why the school should remain open.

A spokesperson said: “The local authority continues to ignore the findings of the consultation.”

Councillor Sarah Sharp, a former parent at the school, said: “I have supported the parents and campaigners that have been fighting to save Rumboldswhyke Infants’ School for many months and we all keenly feel a huge sense of disappointment that the select committee’s recommendations have been ignored.

“Carrying on with consultations regardless will continue to damage and harm children, staff and the reputations of the schools.

“I am stunned by the lack of empathy and real concern for those families whose lives are potentially being torn apart.”

The week brought better news for Compton and Up Marden School, which looks to have avoided closure after the cabinet supported proposals for it to become a federation.

Ed Platt, chair of governors, said: “We have been under threat and we are very pleased the threat is now gone and we can be left alone.

“We are back in the hands of the governing body.

“We are in charge of our future and we are glad it’s over.

“We encourage parents to consider sending their children to our school.”