Stroud parents fight Severn View Primary Academy closure

stroud parents fight severn view primary academy closure - Stroud parents fight Severn View Primary Academy closure

Parents have launched a campaign to save a Stroud primary school faced with closure.

Academies Enterprise Trust, which is responsible for the performance of the school, made the recommendation to the Department of Education after finding the school was only 14 per cent full, with 30 pupils attending.

The final decision will be taken by Secretary of State Gavin Williamson this summer.

A parents petition received over 100 signatures within 24 hours, one of which was written by Jennine Bateman, a mum of four children at the academy: Emma, eight; Lucy, five; and twins Jamie and Zoe, four.

She said: “It’s too much of a good school for it to close.

“All four of my children have come such a long way with the massive support the staff have given them.

“They love it. They’re happy to go to school in the mornings, they’re certainly happy when they come home.”

stroud parents fight severn view primary academy closure 1 - Stroud parents fight Severn View Primary Academy closure‘Save our school: our future is in your hands’ reads a banner made by Emma, Jamie, Lucy, Zoe and their mum Jennine Bateman which they hung on the fence outside Severn View

She spoke of how caring the staff have been in dealing with Lucy’s anxiety challenges, Jamie’s learning difficulties and said that Zoe will have a temper tantrum at home-time because she enjoys the school so much.

“They don’t want to leave. Emma has been crying and she said if she has to move to a new school then she wants to take the staff with her.”

An academy is a state-funded school governed by an academy trust, which is more independent of county council control, meaning the academy has more power over the curriculum, finances and term lengths than community schools.

The primary’s most recent Ofsted report, from 2019, found it required improvement, but did not go as far as to grade it ‘inadequate’ – the worst Ofsted rating.

stroud parents fight severn view primary academy closure 2 - Stroud parents fight Severn View Primary Academy closureSevern View Primary Academy

“This has been an extremely difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly,” said a spokesperson for AET on the proposed closure of the school.

“Running a very small school is extremely difficult and, despite the brilliant work of our teachers, it is not sustainable. We have explored a number of options to find ways to keep the academy open but unfortunately we do not think any of these are viable.

“We will be working closely with Gloucestershire County Council to make the process as smooth as possible and to help every parent find a new school place for their child.”

Chris Spencer, executive director of children’s services at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The decision on whether to close the school will be made by the Secretary of State. If the school does close, our priority will be to support families to find a new school place.

“We want to reassure parents that there are currently enough places at other primary schools in the local area to accommodate the pupils at Severn View. Our In-Year Admissions Team would be happy to speak with parents.”

This was not enough reassurance for Mrs Bateman, who fears having to separate her kids in different schools.

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