Parents’ anger after proposals to close school

Education news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

Parents have expressed their frustration after it was announced last week that a primary school in the borough may be closed.

Residents in Ten Mile Bank said they have been “up in arms” since the decision to start the process to close their local primary school was revealed by the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) at a meeting last week.

And now parents are asking why the school’s future is being considered at all.

Ryan Coogan, who is now the chairman of an action group set up to save the school, said: “In the last Ofsted inspection this was found to be a ‘good’ school, children are being turned away from the school as their parents have been told it’s over-populated, and as far as we know there are no financial issues.

“Many people believe that Ten Mile Bank is being threatened with closure because it is a non-faith school – it’s the only school in DEMAT’s history which is not a faith school.”

Parents and carers were invited, by letter, to a small meeting on Thursday last week to “hear more about what is planned for the future of the Riverside Federation”, which also comprises Hilgay Village VC Primary School.

Mr Coogan said: “I read up on the law before the meeting and I stopped it under clause F5B of the Academies Act 2016, as all local parents, including those whose children had been turned down places at the school, were not invited to attend.”

Confirming that proposals were being looked at for Ten Mile Bank School, a spokesman for DEMAT said: “We are mindful that the proposals for the future of Ten Mile Bank school are concerning for parents.

“We also recognise that some parents expressed concerns that a second meeting should be scheduled to ensure those affected in the wider local community also had the opportunity to hear the proposals first-hand and have their concerns answered.”

Mr Coogan said it has been suggested that if the school were to close, that pupils could be given places at Hilgay Primary School instead.

But Mr Coogan said there would be issues with that suggestion – transport being one, as it is a two-mile walk between the villages, with a stretch of it across the A10.

The DEMAT spokesman added that a further open meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 22 from 6.30pm to 8pm, at Ten Mile Bank School, and all members of the community are invited.

From this point the consultation will run for one month.