Parents celebrate after Badwell Ash Primary School is saved from closure

Badwell Ash Primary School.
Badwell Ash Primary School.
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Parents are jubilant after a village school - hailed as the ‘heart of the community’ - was saved from potential closure after weeks of campaigning.

They were told at a meeting this week that governors at Badwell Ash Primary School had made a u-turn against controversial plans to shut it down.

It marks a victory for a campaigners who submitted a petition signed by about 350 residents.

Parent Helen Flack, of the Badwell Ash Save Our School Committee, said: “Everyone is ecstatic. It’s keeping the village alive because if you take the school away you lose everything.

“This school is the heart of the village.”

Governors consulted over proposals to close due to issues surrounding the school’s financial viability and pupil numbers, which are currently in the ‘low 30s’.

The Venerable John Cox, chairman of governors, warned that despite their decision to remain open, parents ‘must not expect some sort of instant solution to the problems which have brought us to this point’.

He said: “The governors will work very hard to ensure the school goes forward but exactly what that will involve at the moment has still got to be discussed further.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do in terms of how we will make it financially viable because no-one has come up with a pot of money.”

Mr Cox said part of their problems has been the lack of a permanent head which is ‘something that will be looked at’.

Their acting head Caroline Clarke will return to her permanent role as head of Bardwell Primary at the end of this term.

He added: “One of the ways we can make the finances work is by federating so we share the costs of a head. It isn’t going to be easy to find the right federation partner”

During the consultation, they explored the possibility of joining the Federation of Gislingham and Palgrave but their governors ‘didn’t feel they could do it’.