West Norfolk school to remain open until ‘at least August 2019’

GV of Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy School ANL-161124-122426009

GV of Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy School ANL-161124-122426009

Parents, teachers and schoolchildren have been jubilant today after it was announced that their local primary school will be maintained until “at least August 31, 2019”.

Members of an action group set up to save Ten Mile Bank School from closure said they were “delighted” at the consultation update published by the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) late last night.

But the action group has stressed the need for people to continue to put their representations to the trust until the end of the consultation period.

DEMAT had announced it was proposing to close the school at the start of the month, and opened a public consultation for the future of the school last week.

But after nearly a month of campaigning by the action group, DEMAT released the report on its website which says: “Two positive characteristics of the consultation so far are:

- a clear, loud and passionate voice has already been heard through meetings, letters and verbal briefings; and

- by bringing to the attention of the community and wider bodies the future challenges of running a small school, additional options have emerged which it would be right to investigate.”
The statement goes on to say: “We therefore conclude that, while we must ensure that the consultation continues until December 20 to allow all opinions to be gathered, at the moment we are minded to not propose closure.

“Unless income drops significantly, DEMAT will be maintaining Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy until at least August 31 2019, during which time we will work with the local governing body to establish a sustainable future.”

The Lynn News reported this week that it is backing the campaign to keep the school open, as it believes that the “quality of education offered in our classrooms for our children is vital if this area is to thrive in future”.

Parent Ryan Coogan, who set up the action group soon after the proposals were originally made, said: “We are delighted with the interim statement from DEMAT. We are happy that they will work with us to return the school to its former glory, and we can now be fighting on the same team for new funding.

“It’s a fantastic school, that’s why we’ve been fighting to keep it open.”

Mr Coogan added that parents and teachers embraced this morning as a celebration of the outcome and children had a “spring in their step”, but that people still need to express their concerns for the future while the consultation period is open.

Representations regarding this consultation can be made by email or post until Tuesday, December 20 to Rachel Beeson at Rachel.Beeson@elydiocese.org or to the following address:

DEMAT

FAO Rachel Beeson

Bishop Woodford House

Barton Road

Ely

CB7 4DX