Steve Cowley, as grandfather to five children at Yarmouth and Shalfleet Schools, shares this latest view in connection with Isle of Wight council’s plans to move pupils from All Saints’ CE Primary School to Yarmouth CE Primary whilst All Saints’ is extended in size, and for all pupils to them move back to All Saints’ and Yarmouth close.
Governors of Shalfleet and Yarmouth Federated Primary schools have invited parents to a meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 6pm at Yarmouth School. Ed
In a letter sent to parents on Friday afternoon, the Governors of Shalfleet and Yarmouth Federated Primary schools strongly reaffirmed their rejection of the current proposal to close Yarmouth School, which is an Ofsted rated ‘Good’ School. This follows overwhelming support from parents and community to ‘Keep Yarmouth School in Yarmouth’.
Decision to be challenged
A well-informed group of parents is preparing a challenge to the Isle of Wight Council’s current proposal on the grounds that:
- The proposals do not meet the stated aim of the consultation as it does not reduce the surplus places, PAN (see spread sheet below).
- The proposal does not have the support of the other Ofsted rated ‘Good’ Schools in the West Wight.
- The proposal is educationally disruptive and disadvantageous to many groups of children, leading to a likely lowering of educational attainment and poor emotional health.
- The proposal is disruptive to good staff morale, weakening the whole school’s performance.
- Only the School’s governing body can propose moving to a new site. See Statuary Guidance for ‘Making significant changes to maintained schools’ page 16 (below).
Rejected by 71% replying to survey
The Isle of Wight Council’s current proposal was rejected on educational grounds by 71% of those from the West Wight who completed the Isle of Wight Council’s consultation survey.
The proposal would see the closure of Freshwater’s All Saints’ School, which Ofsted rates as ‘in need of improvement’, and children being transferred to the Yarmouth School site, nearly doubling the number of children at the school, which is already near capacity.
No space for 80 extra pupils
There are currently no empty classrooms or adequate services and recreation space at Yarmouth to accommodate an extra 80 children.
The cost of installing extra facilities is unknown and no extra support has been guaranteed.
Unsettling for those taking SATs
This move is planned to occur mid academic year, just before some children would sit their SATS exam.
This is clearly an unacceptable move for the children’s successful learning and emotional wellbeing. Some of this cohort of children affected have already had to adjust to a move when Weston Academy closed.
Firmly rejected by governors and parents
When renovation work (as yet unplanned, uncosted and unknown) is completed at the All Saints’ site, Yarmouth School would then be closed and all the children would be moved back to Freshwater.
This proposal has been firmly rejected by the governors and parents of West Wight.