School that could have only six pupils by 2023 set to close
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A Norfolk village school with just 26 pupils could be closed.
Governing body the Diocese of Ely Multi Academies Trust (DEMAT) is consulting parents over the future of Wormegay Primary School, near King's Lynn.
It says if pupil numbers continue to fall at the rate predicted by its forecasts, the school will have just six by 2023.
DEMAT wants to close the school at the end of the summer term before merging it with Runcton Holme Primary School three miles away, which has a capacity of 70 pupils but 26 on its roll.
In its consultation papers, the academies trust says: "An amalgamated school provides a sustainable opportunity to maintain an education provision across the three parishes rather than two individual schools, both of whom could be at risk if no action is taken. "
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Both schools are rated as requiring improvement by education watchdog Ofsted. DEMAT believes low pupils numbers are to blame.
"There are currently two classes in each school with three or four-year groups in each class; this is extremely challenging for each teacher and causes difficulty in appropriate curriculum sequencing and providing appropriate levels of challenge for all children," it says.
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"By introducing a third class at the amalgamated school it will reduce the number of different year groups within each class to allow for greater curriculum sequencing and more time to be spent with individual children.
"Amalgamating the two schools, with Wormegay pupils being educated at the Runcton Holme site, should enable all pupils to benefit from more effective teaching and learning, greater opportunities for pupils to learn with peers of their own age and more targeted, age-related teaching."
Adrian Ball, chief executive of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust, said: “The schools currently share a headteacher, governing body and several staff between the two sites. Pupils from Wormegay use the Runcton Holme site for PE lessons with multiple joint extracurricular activities and visits conducted.
“The proposed changes are driven by falling numbers at Wormegay with 26 children currently on roll with no pupils joining the school in September 2020. This leaves the school with a forecast roll of 6 by September 2023.
If the closure goes ahead, the new school would be called the Holy Cross Primary Academy. The consultation ends on March 5.