Consultations to begin on fate of beleaguered school

Mountfield and Whatlington School'28/06/12
Mountfield and Whatlington School'28/06/12

Parents will be able to have their say on the future of a village school in a six-week consultation.

A fortnight ago, a letter was sent to parents of children attending Mountfield and Whatlington Church of England Primary School informing them that East Sussex County Council is considering closing the school.

Now the council has announced a public consultation on the proposal will run from September 13 for six weeks

As well as parents the council is hoping to involve other interested parties, such as staff, the Diocese of Chichester - who owns the school and land, early years providers , Greg Barker, MP, and local residents.

A final decision is likely to be made in February and, if the school does close, parents will be asked to submit their preferences to transfer their children to other schools and this would follow the normal admissions process.

The council cites dwindling pupil numbers as the reason for the consultation on whether to close the school, but this is on the back of a poor Ofsted report - which led to the school being taken into special measures in April last year.

The poor Ofsted report criticised the quality of teaching, leadership and achievement of pupils at the school.

But an interim inspection back in March this year said the school was ‘making reasonable progress’ towards being lifted out of special measures.

The school is currently under the leadership of an interim board and executive headteacher Barbara Gill is the headteacher at Netherfield Primary School.

Only five children have been allocated a place at the school in reception year for September 2013, none of them live in the Mountfield and Whatlington area.