Lifeline for closure-threatened school

A VILLAGE primary facing the threat of closure has been given new hope following an eleventh-hour approach from another school.Peasenhall Primary School is set to close in August unless it manages to find another school willing to join with it in a viable federation or some other form of collaboration.

By Sarah Chambers

A VILLAGE primary facing the threat of closure has been given new hope following an eleventh-hour approach from another school.

Peasenhall Primary School is set to close in August unless it manages to find another school willing to join with it in a viable federation or some other form of collaboration.

The 18-pupil school has been working hard to find a suitable partner in the area, and at the beginning of this month Middleton primary suggested it was willing to talk about the idea.


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Suffolk County Council's executive committee will now be asked to delay a final decision about the closure of the school pending the outcome of the talks when they meet on February 3.

They have already agreed in principle to the closure, which would take effect on August 31, unless a workable alternative can be found and were supposed to make a final decision next week.

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If, as is likely, councillors approve their officers' recommendation, the decision will be deferred until their next meeting on April 5 to allow time to explore the viability of federating or collaborating with Middleton.

Despite great efforts to find a suitable partner, and a presentation evening held at Peasenhall in December, no schools were initially prepared to consider the idea, or to engage in detailed discussion to progress it as an option.

But Yvonne Sandison, acting head at Peasenhall, said yesterday they were now "very optimistic" and "very hopeful" about the interest from Middleton.

"We are hopeful and having this extra time is positive, because it gives us time to explore everything. We are feeling very positive about it," she said.

"We are delighted that Middleton are interested in us. We are really happy about that because it does give us hope for the future."

Middleton primary headteacher Kath Cook said: "We see this as an exciting opportunity to explore the possibility of partnership with Peasenhall."

Middleton currently has 53 pupils on its roll and its latest Ofsted inspection praised it as an "effective" and "caring" school.

If the schools do get together, they would be able to share resources and expertise, and children of similar age groups may be able to work together in larger groups from time to time.

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