Parents ‘devastated’ as closure of Badwell Ash Primary School looks likely

Badwell Ash Primary School.
Badwell Ash Primary School.
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Parents have been left ‘devastated’ as closure of the troubled Badwell Ash CEVA Primary School looks likely with pupils being moved to other schools in the area.

Pupils will be attending other schools from January and Suffolk County Council will decide whether to close Badwell Ash Primary next year.

It follows failed attempts to form a federation with other local schools, dwindling pupil numbers which have dropped to 23 and an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted.

Parents were told about the move in a letter from Maureen Eade, chairman of the Interim Executive Board, which was brought in after the majority of the school’s governing body resigned.

She said: “As you are probably aware, the number on roll has fallen to 23.

“It is now necessary for a planned move to new schools so that the children can start in January.

“It has not proved possible to achieve a federation with a local school as the numbers are no longer viable.

“Attempts at seconding a teacher for the rest of the academic year has also proved impossible. This will mean there are no teachers for January.”

She explained there are spaces available at Norton, Stanton, Elmswell and Walsham-le-Willows Primary Schools.

She added: “The school will not officially close until later in 2014 as the legal process takes considerable time.”

The development is a fresh blow for parents, who successfully campaigned to save the school from closure earlier this year.

Helen Flack, who organised a petition, said: “It’s absolutely devastating. We’ve tried our hardest to stop it and we couldn’t.”

Her six-year-old daughter Charley is hoping to attend Stanton Primary.

A county council spokeswoman said: “Despite extensive efforts, the former governing body of Badwell Ash Primary School has recognised that it would be difficult for them to maintain a high quality education experience for children attending the school.

“Suffolk County Council is working with the diocese and the Interim Executive Board to carefully consider the future of the school. The main priority remains to ensure young people at the school and indeed across the county receive a good or outstanding education. This priority will be kept at the centre of all decision making.”

She added that a decision on closure will likely be made in February.

The Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury and chairman of the Diocesan Board of Education, said: “The IEB is working closely with the headteacher to ensure that pupils are able to make a smooth transition to other schools during the course of this academic year. The school is keeping parents informed.”