Welney school faces axe in December

No Caption ABCDE ENGANL00120130627151941
No Caption ABCDE ENGANL00120130627151941

The bell could be rung for the final time at a Fenland primary school in December if closure plans go ahead.

Norfolk County Council has decided to go ahead with plans to close William Marshall Primary School, in Welney, due to falling pupil numbers, slipping standards and a budget deficit.

The school had been earmarked for closure earlier this year but had been given a stay of execution while education chiefs looked at arguments submitted by parents fighting to keep the site open.

But the county has not moved its position and last week published a public notice to close the school on December 31 with pupils to be transferred to nearby Upwell.

A statement released by the county council says: “Following extensive consultation we have now decided to move forward with a formal proposal to close William Marshall Primary School.

“In April, the school’s governors decided that the school could no longer offer its pupils a good standard of education and that the school should close.

“Sadly, standards at the school are currently not good enough and there are a number of surplus places, with several families in the village choosing to send their children to schools elsewhere.

“As a very small school, with no permanent headteacher and an expected budget deficit, we agree that the school is unlikely to have a viable future.

“The decision to move ahead with a formal notice was postponed to allow us to fully consider work done by the parents’ committee. We appreciate the work that they have done and have fully considered their case.

“However, we remain of the belief that the school does not have a sustainable plan for the future.”

A total of 24 children are on the school’s books with four joining at the start of this term.