Parents will fight to stop closure of Alderman Swindell School in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 14:49 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 20:31 17 July 2017

Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan

Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan


Parents have said they will “fight to the end” to save their children’s school from closure.

Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan

Around 40 people attended a public meeting held at Alderman Swindell School in north Yarmouth on Wednesday night to discuss Norfolk County Council proposals which could see the school merge with nearby North Denes Primary School.

Headteacher Alison Hopley said staff had been told they would lose their jobs.

She added: “I have lost some members of staff already.”

Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan Alderman Swindell public meeting on Wednesday. Photo: George Ryan

MORE: Two schools in Great Yarmouth Alderman Swindell and North Denes could close under plans for new super primary school

There were also complaints about the process, with accusations from parents that consultation forms had not been delivered and a councillor had been rude at a previous meeting.

Chairman of governors John Simmons said he was ashamed at the way people were spoken down to at the last meeting.

Mrs Hopley agreed, adding: “I put in a similar complaint against councillor Mick Castle for his appalling behaviour in this school hall.”

There was a lot of passion and emotion in the room, with parents questioning why the school needed to close.

Alderman Swindell Primary School. Photo: George Ryan Alderman Swindell Primary School. Photo: George Ryan

One parent said they believed the school would close so the land could be used for housing.

Another said they would not take it lying down and would fight it all the way, and even threatened to take their child out of school rather than send them elsewhere.

MORE: Alderman Swindell school in Great Yarmouth faces axe under council merger plan to create new £6.4m facility

Eight-year-old year three pupil Shania Rashid got up and told those gathered how much she loved her school, which received a round of applause.

She was with the meeting with proud mum Kellyann Rashid and younger sister Shayla.

On July 24, a group from the school are planning to protest outside County Hall in Norwich.

Children’s Services committee chairman at the county council, Penny Carpenter, said the council believed building a new school on the site of North Denes Primary would ensure enough school places for a growing population.

She added: “We are investing more than £6m in education in the north of Great Yarmouth and feel we can make a bigger impact in transforming local education by building one state of the art school, as opposed to two smaller expansion projects on the two sites.”

The consultation closes next Friday, to take part go to: www.norfolk.citizenspace.comchildrens-services/north-yarmouth

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