Search

Councillor brands proposal to close village primary school ‘absolutely short-sighted’

Parents and pupils and Winterton Primary School and Nursery are angry at the proposed closure. Left to right, Alexander Bird, 7, Sophie Hudson-Jones,5, and Oliver Hudson-Jones, 7.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Parents and pupils and Winterton Primary School and Nursery are angry at the proposed closure. Left to right, Alexander Bird, 7, Sophie Hudson-Jones,5, and Oliver Hudson-Jones, 7. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Norfolk County Council is consulting on closing Winterton Primary School, after the idea was put forward by the school’s interim executive board. The school has been without a permanent headteacher since the end of 2016, and has a dwindling pupil roll.

Parents and pupils and Winterton Primary School and Nursery are angry at the proposed closure.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYParents and pupils and Winterton Primary School and Nursery are angry at the proposed closure. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

It was debated at children’s services committee on Tuesday, when councillor Mike Smith-Clare described it as “absolutely short-sighted”.

He said more than 300 new homes were to be built in the wider Great Yarmouth area, bringing in extra families - a concern shared by councillor Barry Stone.

Mr Smith-Clare, Labour councillor for Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown, said: “It seems absolutely short-sighted to lose a school and expect that pick-up to then be based on the fabric of schools that are further field.”

MORE: Closure of struggling primary to be considered

Council officers said data showed there was space nearby, either in Hemsby - another proposal suggests expanding the area’s catchment to include Winterton - or elsewhere.

Labour councillor for Magdalen Colleen Walker said the council should learn from the recent decision to close Alderman Swindell Primary in Great Yarmouth, which she said had left “bad feeling” in the community.

Conservative councillor Ron Hanton, who represents East Flegg, agreed it seemed short-sighted, and urged officers to “give the community a chance”.

Sara Tough, director for children’s services, said she would have the “unenviable” final say and that it would not be taken lightly.

“No-one in this room, both councillors and officers, would choose to be in this position and I can assure you that none of my officers would ever want to make a decision that disrupts a community, upsets children and young people,” she said.

Mick Castle, Independent councillor for Great Yarmouth North and Central, said it was often difficult, in smaller schools, to provide the full curriculum that other, larger, schools were able to.

Earlier in the meeting, Ayeshia Hammond Young, on behalf of the Save Winterton Primary campaign, asked if the proposed closure date could be pushed back to August 2019.

MORE: Five other things we learnt at children’s services committee

But Chris Snudden, assistant director for children’s services, said, while they recognised it was a “challenging time”, they had explored “every option possible”, including working with nearby academy trusts and federations. She said they were “deeply concerned” about the school’s education quality and lack of leadership.

Related articles

Other News

39 minutes ago

One of the county’s worst performing healthcare trusts could merge with Norfolk’s best in a bid to bring together care in the community.

Yesterday, 17:35

Norfolk’s police chief has said he will make a case for more police officers on the street, but it would mean a rise in council tax.

Yesterday, 17:18

One in every five recycling trucks in Norfolk is contaminated as people are putting the “wrong things” in their bins, councils have warned.

Yesterday, 16:26

A “dangerous” arsonist, who risked lives by setting fire to his home in Great Yarmouth, was jailed before for starting two fires at a previous address, a court heard.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:01

Parents at a Norfolk academy have described their anger after finding out that if their children had missed a day at school they would not be able to take part in a non-uniform day.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:12

Ambulances have been head butted, kicked, and had blue lights ripped off in shocking acts of vandalism on the emergency vehicles - sometimes while crews have been trying to treat patients.

Read more
NHS
Thu, 09:34

A 46-year-old shop assistant was racially abused by a customer in Great Yarmouth.

Read more

Plans for a former pub to be turned into a luxury tobacconist have been put under fire by a nearby health centre, with bosses arguing it would “give out entirely the wrong message”.

Read more
NHS
Mon, 18:00

School trips usually involve taking children to see one of Shakespeare’s great plays or visiting a historic museum.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 2°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy