Shortly before half term the local county council sent a proposal to our staff to close our school. I feel the timing was not coincidental and indeed feel that the council are doing everything in their power to try and force the closure with as little resistance as possible. Unfortunately for the council small schools are made up of an incredibly close knit community that will do anything to ensure that a high level of education in an inclusive and caring environment continues.
This post focuses on some initial ideas as part of our response to the threat of closure.
Listen to the community
The council has displayed no interest in listening to the views of the community, the staff or pupils regarding whether their decision is the correct one. A questionnaire that was not easily accessible until we as a school sent out a clear link has been created by the council however how they are going to use the data collected from this is questionable. The council met with parents on an individual basis which put undue pressure on parents and undoubtedly led to some views not being heard. As a school we have been part of an open dialogue both online and within school and are listening to everyone's views and opinions as should be expected.
Publicise our plight
It is difficult to put into words the injustice we feel in the proposal to close our school. We feel it is important to increase exposure to our cause as closing our school will lead to a gap in the provision of education in our county. Our headteacher and a classroom teacher recently went down to London to meet the prime minister as we were recently voted the highest performing school in the constituency.
Thankfully this picture made the front page of the local paper this week as the public struggles to conceive why the council would close such a successful school. Today our school council wrote a letter to the prime minister sharing their thoughts which are both lovely to read but at the same time very sad.
Write a response that clearly states why the decision is wrong
Research is already being carried out to ensure that our official response to the proposal from the council is clear, concise and correct unlike many aspects of the proposal itself. We are under no illusions that we are in a David vs Goliath situation but by working professionally on our official response we really do hope that the council see sense and leave our very successful school alone.
Understandably i do not wish to go into further details until after our official response. As the council are far better at political gamesmanship than ourselves. The problem is that if they win everybody loses.