Action group set up to try and save west Norfolk school

Schoolchildren at Ten Mile Bank collected shoe boxes for an appeal last month. The school is now fac

Schoolchildren at Ten Mile Bank collected shoe boxes for an appeal last month. The school is now facing possible closure. Back Row (left to right) Emily, Annabelle, Oscar, Ashden and BillyFront Row (left to right) Maizy, Lawson, Victoria and Caroline. Picture: Kit King - Credit: Archant

Parents have vowed to keep a primary school open after the trust that runs it started the process to close it.

People in Ten Mile Bank, near Downham Market, were invited to a meeting to discuss the future of the Riverside Federation last week.

Run by the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust, the federation took control of both Ten Mile Bank and Hilgay primary schools in January.

Parents and carers were sent a letter asking them to attend the public meeting to 'discuss the future of the Riverside Federation' and 'to hear more about what is planned'.

Parents and community members have already started campaigning against the potential closure.


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Parent Ryan Coogan said: 'We are going to fight to keep it open.

'I read up on the law before the meeting and I stopped it under clause F5B of the Academies Act 2016, as all local parents, including those whose children had been turned down places at the school, were not invited to attend.

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'We have set up an action group to try and save the school. If the children have to go to Hilgay primary school instead, as we've heard, it's about two miles away, and they would have to cross the A10 to get there.

'We will be holding more meetings, at dates to be decided, to figure out how to fight it. If it does close it will be the first academy in the country to do so.'

Letters highlighting the issue have also been sent to South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, and the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP.

Demat runs 22 schools in the area, and a spokesman said: 'Demat can confirm that we are looking at proposals for the future of Ten Mile Bank and a further meeting will be held in due course at which all stakeholders are welcome to attend. Further details will be made available in due course.'

Last month children at Hilgay and Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy collected for the Samaritans Purse Shoebox Appeal.

The schools decorated shoe boxes and filled them with toys, school supplies, toiletries, hats, gloves and scarves to send to needy children around the world this Christmas.

Parent governor Kit King said she was proud of the children's efforts and with added support from friends in the community was very pleased to be sending over 60 shoe boxes for the charity this year.

Does your child go to Ten Mile Bank Riverside Academy? How do you feel about its potential closure? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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