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Poll: Are we too attached to our small schools?

06:29 31 March 2014

The King George VI Primary School in Great Bircham. Picture: Matthew Usher,

The King George VI Primary School in Great Bircham. Picture: Matthew Usher,

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Norfolk County Council has said small schools can harm pupils’ academic performance, but parents have said they value their family feel.

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Gordon Boyd, the council’s assistant director of children’s services, wants schools to join together to form federations with about 200 pupils, and says some communities will lose a school site in the village in the process - something he admits “pulls at everybody’s heartstrings”.

He says that while many local people want their village school to remain open, this can be “an attachment to mediocrity”.

Meanwhile, parents at The George VI Primary in Great Bircham have launched the SOS – Save Our School – campaign and one of them, Claire Wright, said: “I’ve got four children, three have gone through there, they’ve all left Bircham School and gone into high sets, they’ve all done well.

“It’s a little family really. We knew numbers have been dropping over the last four years but it all seems very hush-hush.”

What do you think? Are we too attached to our small schools? Vote in our poll, and comment below.

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6 comments

  • It is too simplistic to see this simply as a question of ''attachment'', some small schools perform very well on the independent measures of OFSTED and SATS results; others less well. Equally some large schools seem to have persistant issues of performance. Surely each school should be assessed in terms of it's performance, otherwise these measures seem meaningless.

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    doodle2

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I agree with doodle2. It's not an issue of attachment but of quality and fair access to education for rural children. Schools play a vital part in community adhesion and every effort should be made to keep local schools open.

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    missy

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • ....."community adhesion"....That's a new one, is that more sticky than community cohesion?

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    Rhombus

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I agree with doodle2. It's not an issue of attachment but of quality and fair access to education for rural children. Schools play a vital part in community adhesion and every effort should be made to keep local schools open.

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    missy

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • This further risks ripping the heart out of villages - pubs, shops etc. are closing or have closed in too many cases. I guess that he is too wrapped up in political dogma and bureaucracy to appreciate the wider issues? Or is that closing down a school enables them to sell land to developers at a substantial profit?

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    andy

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • For small schools, the answer must be partnership and federation, where an overview can be kept by executive leaders, whilst local senior teachers can maintain the small school within the village community. The small village school can still be judged externally, whilst serving its community.

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    Steven Hales

    Monday, March 31, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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