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Monks Eleigh: Board recommends primary school should close

PUBLISHED: 08:08 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:08 25 March 2014

Monks Eleigh Primary

Monks Eleigh Primary

Archant

The closure of Suffolk’s smallest school looks inevitable after an interim board brought in to look for ways of saving it failed to come up with any workable alternatives.

Monks Eleigh Primary has been in special measures since a visit from Ofsted last July.

Following publication of the inspector’s report, most parents opted to remove their children from the school, causing student numbers to plummet from 30 to just nine.

The county council installed an interim executive board (IEB) after the school governors resigned, and a new headteacher was appointed.

But a group of villagers – none of whom are parents of children currently at the school – who set up the SaveME group to stop the school from closing, have accused the county council of not doing enough to turn it around.

Last night, a spokesman for the county council confirmed that the IEB had now asked the authority to propose, publicly, the closure of the school.

He said: “It follows a significant amount of support for Monks Eleigh and work to find another school willing to form a federation with it.

“Thus far, these exhaustive efforts have been unable to find a sustainable solution which will secure the future of the school and improve educational attainment for the children. This is the ultimate priority.”

The proposal to close the school will be subject to a full public consultation, which could take several months to complete.

But headteacher Karen Harman said: “I am very sad this has happened but the IEB has researched locally, and no kids want to come to us in September. You can’t argue with the facts - it’s very hard to protect a village school when no village children want to come to it.

“I don’t believe the county has rushed into this in any way – they have been totally supportive and I honestly don’t see what more they could have done.”

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The manager of an Essex pub that has been banned from holding outdoor music events due to noise complaints has spoken of the “ongoing battle” staff have faced with neighbours and councillors.

A former Suffolk Sea Cadet instructor who was given a suspended prison sentence after he had sex with a 15-year-old girl has been locked up for six months after he broke a court order banning him from having unsupervised contact with any other young girls.

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