Freshwater community proposes alternative to planned school closure

The Freshwater community, current and former school parents and community volunteers, together with Freshwater Parish and County Councillors suggest an alternative plan to resolve school places in West Wight

Community against All Saints closure

Daniel shares details of this proposal which was developed by current and former school parents and community volunteers, together with Freshwater Parish and County Councillors. Ed

Parents and volunteers, together with Parish and County Councillors, have published a proposed alternative to the closure of All Saints’ Primary School in Freshwater this September.

The proposed community solution comprises three parts: a new leadership team for All Saints, optimising the capacity of local Anglican schools to raise educational standards, and an extended schools programme to generate income.

Village school for over 300 years
There has been a school in Freshwater since the year 1715. Out of 606 enrolled primary school children living in the West Wight, 367 live in Freshwater or Totland and 344 of these attend West Wight schools.

These 344 children would be sufficient to fill All Saints (210 places) and St. Saviour’s in Totland (140 places) almost to capacity, if parents had confidence in the future of All Saints.

Children’s Services proposal
The Hampshire County Council proposal to close All Saints would leave Freshwater and Totland with only one school at St. Saviour’s, while the more rural part of the West Wight, east of the River Yar, would retain three schools for just 239 local children.

East of the River Yar
According to the Isle of Wight Council, there are 91 pupils at Yarmouth School of which 69 live in Freshwater or Totland (76%), 176 pupils at Shalfleet School of which 56 live in Freshwater or Totland (32%), and 123 pupils at Brighstone of which 17 live in Freshwater or Totland (14%).

There are 279 more places than local children in these three schools.

Academic results are improving significantly
Freshwater parish councillor, Daniel James, commented,

“All Saints is the local primary school for the largest community of West Wight families. With new teaching staff, academic results are improving significantly.

“It remains to be seen whether Hampshire County Council will leave the school open so that it can obtain a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.

“I would encourage all local residents to read the counter-proposal created by parents and councillors, and make sure they respond to the Council’s consultation which ends on 15th April.”

The community proposal can be seen below (click on the full screen icon to see larger version and download PDF:

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