Trust votes to press ahead with merging two village schools
- Credit: Sarah Hussain
Proposals to merge two Norfolk primary schools have been drawn up following public consultation.
The board of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) has agreed to proceed with the proposal and to put a business case forward to the regional schools commissioner, which would see Wormegay Church of England Primary School amalgamated with Runcton Holme Church of England Primary School.
Dozens of parents, residents, staff and members of the community took part in a consultation and attended a virtual public meeting in relation to the proposal.
Of the 85 responses to the consultation, 57.7pc were in favour of the proposal, 40pc disagreed and 21.pc expressed no opinion.
Those opposed feared the closure of the school would see the village lose its last facility and force parents to drive their children to and from school.
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Speaking after today’s meeting, Adrian Ball, chief executive of the trust, said: “We would like to thank everyone who gave feedback and views on the consultation.
“Every single opinion has been taken on board and considered.
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“The consultation revealed a majority of people in the area are in favour of the proposal although we understand there are some who have concerns which is why it is important for us to work with the school communities at both sites to continue the improvements recognised by Ofsted in the February 2021 inspection and make the future bright.
“After considering comments made during the consultation, trustees have taken them on board, and we are pleased to announce that all pupils attending the amalgamated school will be provided with a new uniform at no cost."
The decision to open a consultation was made by the Trust’s board on December 16 last year.
The Trust believes the merger of the schools is in the best interests for sustainable high quality educational provision in the area as falling pupil numbers make it difficult to sustain a high-quality education for pupils. Wormegay CofE Primary School currently has 25 pupils on roll with a total capacity of 49, while Runcton Holme CofE Primary has 39 pupils with a 70-pupil capacity.
If the business case is given the go-ahead, the catchment areas of the two schools will be redrawn to include the parishes of Wormegay and Tottenhill and the newly amalgamated school would be renamed Holy Cross Church of England Primary School.
The full consultation response can be found at https://demat.org.uk/consultations/