Children’s Services have proposed shutting two rural schools in East Sussex. Their reasons for closing Broad Oak Community primary School is that there are a large number of surplus school places within Heathfield. This simply isn’t the case for some year groups.
In addition, ESCC want to relocate students to schools away from
Broad Oak and there has been no consideration for:
• parents who don’t drive
• the additional congestion and pollution to Heathfield
• the impact on working families being able to get their children into a school which fits their routine
• parents right of choice
• pupils mental health and distress
Other reasons from ESCC include financial challenges and therefore the school’s ability to offer high quality education. Nationally, it has been clear for a while that all schools are facing funding cuts beyond what any school can sustain. Nationally, many teachers have lost jobs and all students are being failed by underfunding. Rural schools should not be made a scape goat for this financial shortfall.
Broad Oak School is an up and coming school and all staff have worked hard in the sole interest of our children.
Houses are continually being built and shutting schools will create a shortfall of school places in the future. Closing small rural schools will affect house prices in the area. This in turn will affect small businesses in the area.
The Local Authority has not yet considered any other options – closing a rural school should be the last resort not the first option. Councils should consider applying a section 114 notice if there is not enough funding. Closing much needed rural schools is not the answer.
This ePetition runs from 16/06/2019 to 31/12/2019.
1226 people have signed this ePetition.