Stroud primary school threatened with closure

stroud primary school threatened with closure - Stroud primary school threatened with closure
stroud primary school threatened with closure 1 - Stroud primary school threatened with closure

Severn View Primary Academy in Stroud is under threat after its sponsor announced it will recommend the school should close to the Department of Education.

The recommendation comes after the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) found the primary school, which became part of their trust in 2012, was only 14 per cent full with 30 pupils attending.

A final decision will be taken by the Department for Education in the summer, after AET  said the school should close at the end of the school year.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly,” said a spokesperson for AET.

“We recognise that this news will be unsettling for families and for staff and will take some time to absorb.”

Read more: Council insists school places available if Severn View Primary closes

An academy is a state-funded school that is more independent of local authority control, meaning the school has more control over their curriculum, finances and term lengths.

In a letter, the Stroud District Green Party said the dwindling number of pupils was the result of a lack of investment.

“Lack of proper investment in this school and poor active engagement by the Academy with the surrounding community has inevitably led to this proposed closure,” they wrote.

“It must be devastating for those children happily settled at the school and for their families.”

The school’s most recent Ofsted report, in 2019, found it required improvement and that the quality of teaching and learning across classes was not consistently good, but did not go as far as to grade it ‘inadequate’ – the worst Ofsted rating.

The AET spokesperson said: “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 if they would like any further information on this.”

More to follow.

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