Small schools 'a blessing', says head

A HEADTEACHER of a village primary rated as one of the best in the county has described small rural schools as “a blessing”.

Elliot Furniss

A HEADTEACHER of a village primary rated as one of the best in the county has described small rural schools as “a blessing”.

Kersey Church of England Primary School was one of just 14 Suffolk primary schools inspected in 2008-9 to receive an “outstanding” report from Ofsted - despite being one of the smallest in the county.

Headteacher Belinda Harvey said the success was an example of how small schools can provide top-quality education.

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With just 66 children split into four classes, Mrs Harvey said the focus was on encouraging staff to be flexible and hold multiple roles.

She said: “Flexibility is the key in the job they do and they have to do the very best possible for the sake of the children.

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“We have a highly-qualified staff, we welcome parents in on a daily basis and we have a very active governing body.

“Ofsted, not only this year but the last two, have judged us as outstanding but the whole staff, led by myself, are always committed to moving forward and giving exciting and challenging learning for the children.”

Mrs Harvey, who is in her third year as headteacher, added: “It's not always a challenge - small schools are a blessing. Recruiting isn't an issue - we really enjoy what we do, all of us.”

Inspectors visited the school back in March and handed it an “outstanding” inspection report, praising the links that had been established with the community.

Inspectors said: “This is a school that continues to provide an outstanding quality of education. This is because the headteacher and whole school community work together in a united and determined way to provide the best that they can for the families of the area.

“The curriculum is outstanding overall and the school is committed to providing first hand experiences for pupils.

“The greatest strength is the imaginative way that the school uses the local and wider community as a learning resource. The village and surrounding areas and people are used very well.

“The school has an outstanding approach to listening to the pupils, parents and community.”

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