West Norfolk school ‘will thrive in community for years to come’

GV of Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy School
GV of Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy School

An academy trust which had proposed to close one of its schools in West Norfolk has admitted that it “does not have a convincing case for closure” following consultation.

In November, it was revealed that the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) was considering the future of Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy, after which a drive to keep the school open was started.

Less than a month later, and following a campaign in the Lynn News to support the school, DEMAT said that it was “minded to not propose closure” – although the consultation remained open until December.

In response to DEMAT’s consultation period, Ryan Coogan, who led the Ten Mile Bank Action Group (TMBAG), said: “The school is perfectly viable. It is without doubt that Ten Mile Bank is a great school and one that achieves academically, economically and one that has historically achieved for the children, the parents, the parents of the parish, the parishioner, the county and indeed the country and beyond.”

In its statement, the academy trust says: “DEMAT remains concerned about the vulnerability of Ten Mile Bank, due to the fact that teacher recruitment is challenging and that the high educational outcomes that DEMAT and Ofsted expect are significantly more difficult to achieve in this very small school.”

But Mr Coogan, however, does not agree that there should be concerns, and wants to work to ensure the school thrives.

He said: “It is clear that Ten Mile Bank offers schooling to pupils at good value for a small school, achieving a good educational mandate.

“We would like a review of the school taken off the table. Ten Mile Bank is open and all children are welcome. Anyone who is thinking of choosing a school, make Ten Mile Bank their first choice.

“It has just been visited poistively by the Department of Education, and will thrive in our community for years to come.”