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Last chance for Wormegay school closure plan views

A public consultation on the proposed closure of a West Norfolk village primary school ends later today.

Opponents of the move to shut the Wormegay CE Primary School say their children have been left heartbroken by the idea.

But education officials insist the measure will address concerns over the future viability of the Wormegay site and improve education for all children.

GV Picture of Wormegay Church of England Primary School. (44271115)
GV Picture of Wormegay Church of England Primary School. (44271115)

The proposal by the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) would see the Wormegay school formally merge with its partner school in Runcton Holme to form the Holy Cross Academy.

A public consultation has been taking place over the past six weeks, including a virtual public meeting and the resignation of a school governor in protest at the plan.

If approved, the merged school could welcome pupils from this September and a DEMAT consultation document claims the move would help to address weaknesses identified in recent Ofsted reports.

It said the current structure of the two schools, with three or four year groups in a class, made teaching "extremely challenging."

It added: "By introducing a third class at the amalgamated school it will reduce the number of different year groups within each class to allow for greater curriculum sequencing and more time to be spent with individual children."

But parents against the plan are adamant they will not send their children to Runcton Holme and say many of their questions have still not been answered.

One, Fred Jenner, said he had witnessed a consultation session with pupils this week which he described as "heartbreaking."

It followed the release of a letter by a pupil in which she pleaded for the trust not to take her school away.

Mr Jenner also described DEMAT's actions as "morally and ethically wrong."

Another, Kelly Jones, added: "The children, at a time when stability and love is needed are having one of the biggest parts of their daily lives ripped away from them with the proposed closure.

"To propose to do this in the middle of a global pandemic is just cruel."

But DEMAT has insisted that every comment will be taken into account during the decision-making process.

If it does decide to press ahead with the closure, it will need to present its case to the Regional Schools Commissioner.

Comments can still be submitted by emailing Consultation@demat.org.uk before 5pm today.

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