Great Bircham fights to save school with new campaign

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Parents of Great Bircham pupils have already seen “an overwhelming response” to their campaign to save King George VI Primary School from impending closure after Easter.

A committee of concerned parents, school governors, parish councillors and friends of the school launched the Save Our School (SOS) Campaign last week and have since started a petition to save the school from closure.

Claire King, chairman of the committee, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to the petition, everyone in the village has signed it. Within a day we had to replace the sheets because they were so full.”

Vice chair Claire Wright added: “I don’t think they realise the support our local school has. If they think they’re poking a hornet’s nest now, wait until they close the school!”

The parents both have children at the school and worry that the closure of King George VI could mean their children’s education suffers.

Miss Wright said: “The county council say they are doing this for the benefit of the children but within only a few months these children will have to move schools twice, once to Docking and again to high school.

“There are also those sitting their SATs who will be disrupted, all of the children are so settled and happy where they are, and they had a new pupil start yesterday.”

She added: “There are also 37 houses that have been approved to be built across Docking and Bircham – is this really a time to be thinking about closing a school?”

A meeting held at the school on Thursday with local education authority officers Jan Munn and Alison Cunningham, school governors and parents, saw parents left outraged and teachers walking out.

Mrs King said: “It was horrendous. They called the teachers inadequate based on an old Ofsted report, despite them joining after the inspection.

“The governors and teachers have been gagged by the county council, who told them to keep quiet if they want to keep their jobs until 2015.”

She added: “We found out there are three other schools on the agenda to close – Docking, Brancaster and Sedgeford. Why are they moving the pupils to a school that is going to close?”

Miss Wright said: “The officers also said that school governors were informed of the closure a year ago, but governors said they never received this letter.”

Tonight will see another meeting of parents, governors and teachers at the school.