A popular primary school which faces closure has received support from parents and local residents through a new petition.
Rumboldswhyke C of E Infants’ School, in Rombolds Close, Chichester was inspected earlier this year and received an inadequate rating for overall effectiveness.
Last month, Paul Wagstaff, director of education and skills at the county council, told the children and young people’s services select committee that options were limited for the school and they were consulting on it’s closure. The consultation is due to start on Monday.
Dr Cristina Vitan, who helped set up the petition, said she felt it was unfair to the community that a very well established local school had been suddenly threatened with closure with little warning and little explanation from the council.
She told the Chichester Post:
“It is a school well known in the community as loving, friendly and nurturing. All the parents’ feedback I have received has been positive. It has served our community for 135 years.
“There seems to have been efforts from the council to keep it safe as well, through installing traffic lights on the main road that leads to the school only two years ago. The staff here are amazing. The children are very happy, they feel safe. We parents feel happy that our children can thrive at this very young age.”
The petition went live on Saturday and the online petition was launched on Tuesday morning. Campaigners have already collected just over 500 signatures between the two petitions.
“Our biggest aim is to be able to keep this school open and we demand that this school remains open in September, 2020.”
City and district councillor, Sarah Sharp, said:
“This is a great school. My daughter went here and she loved it. There’s an amazing sense of community, everyone’s so caring.
“Where this school is it’s perfect, people can just walk to school and feel safe. I’m particularly interested in carbon reduction targets and we need to get there, working to reach those targets.
Part of that is small local schools. Schools like this are what we want to see.”
In the summary of key findings in the Ofsted report, it said that there had been considerable turbulence within the school in recent years, which had led to a further decline in the school’s performance since the previous inspection.
School governor David Barty said:
“I have been a governor for the last four and a half years since my grandson same here.
“From my perspective, I am still very much supporting everyone at the school.
“Yes, the school was deemed as inadequate but that wasn’t because of the children or the staff. Our headteacher had literally just resigned so that meant we got marked down a lot just because of that.
“Of course there were factors that went wrong but the only thing that’s the same about the school now is the bricks and mortar. And the bricks and mortar can’t be deemed as inadequate.”
To sign the petition, visit: saverumboldswhykeschool.co.uk