The tiny Hertfordshire primary school too small to survive

5/1/2022 2:17:00 AM

The tiny Hertfordshire primary school too small to survive

The tiny Hertfordshire primary school too small to survive

While the government pledges support, school leaders warn the future of small schools is uncertain.

"Small schools are at the heart of our local and rural communities," he says. "But as one of the groups hit hardest by budget cuts, for thousands of small schools the future remains uncertain.Image caption,"Some days they are fine and some days it hits them, some more than others."

Wareside had inquiries from parents interesting in placing their children there. But Mrs Gaze says she had to be upfront that their child was likely to be the only pupil in receptionSurvival, then, depended on parents willing to be the first to place their child there in the hope that other parents would follow.

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I guess the government are leaving the students to TikTok to teach them. The system has failed our children miserably It's the way of the world unfortunately .....

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Report calls for primary school exclusions to be banned as children as young as five expelled over behaviourOne mother says her son was first excluded when he was five years old and offered a place at a Pupil Referral Unit instead, where 'every door was locked' behind them during a visit. It hard on children with autism or ADHD but that’s down to parents/doctors to notice this. If a child is disruptive and sometimes violent what are teachers supposed to do. If they are forced to leave them in class it disrupts everyone. Too many children have been exclused for political reasons as well

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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Cockermouth, Cumbria ., which it argues puts young people at risk of low attainment, serious violence and criminal exploitation.Krishnan Guru-Murthy Presenter A report from the former children’s commissioner has said that the exclusion of primary school pupils should be banned in England within the next four years.A couple due to get married abroad fear their £30,000 wedding abroad could be ruined by "nightmare" passport delays.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), fears for the future of smaller schools and the communities they serve. Their loss, he says, can be "incalculable". Ms Longfield said: “High aspiration, high standards and high expectations should always go alongside a sense of responsibility for all children. "Small schools are at the heart of our local and rural communities," he says. "But as one of the groups hit hardest by budget cuts, for thousands of small schools the future remains uncertain. An inclusive education system is a key weapon in our battle against them. "This is a terrible state of affairs when you think about how vital these schools are. The couple from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, now fear they might not make it to their own wedding if Patrick doesn't get his new passport back in time - which would result in their special day being cancelled and leave them heartbroken.

"In many places, the school is the last public service left standing in their community." Wareside, a village near Ware with a population of about 735, a church, two pubs and a village hall, has had a school since the 1700s, first as a place for male boarders and then, from the 1870s, as a mixed school. Image caption, Ann Gaze, the school's interim headteacher for the last three years, says the closure decision was "really sad for everybody" For Ann Gaze, the school's interim headteacher for the last three years, the challenge now is to support her staff and pupils as best she can during the final few months they have left together. "Everybody is saddened by the whole situation," she says. "It is really sad for everybody. "We have got 30 guests coming out to Santorini, and it's not cheap.

"Some days they are fine and some days it hits them, some more than others." What does Wareside's fate reveal about the issues facing the nation's smallest schools? It shows the perils of a self-fulfilling prophecy, says Mrs Gaze. Image caption, Wareside had inquiries from parents interesting in placing their children there. But Mrs Gaze says she had to be upfront that their child was likely to be the only pupil in reception Just a small change in pupil numbers can make the difference between it being a highly desirable option with small class sizes to very unattractive. Wareside had inquiries from parents interested in placing their children there." She added: "It's been an absolute nightmare for us and I think it's the same for hundreds of people.

But Mrs Gaze says she had to be upfront that their child was likely to be the only pupil in reception. That fact, she says, understandably concerned the interested parents, who subsequently sought out places elsewhere. Survival, then, depended on parents willing to be the first to place their child there in the hope that other parents would follow. It did not happen. "For our parents, we are a very important part of life and they really do value what we are able to give to their families and children," says Mrs Gaze." "He phones them probably once or twice a week," she said.

"We are like one big family," she says. "Everybody knows everybody and all the staff know both the children really well and their families really well. "It is an important part of the village. "The children who live in the village can obviously walk here. It is going to be a change for them. Reanne, who also pitches in with the phone calls, said: "I called them on Monday and was on the phone for one hour and 45 minutes, I spoke to six or seven people and would have to repeat the same information.

" Image caption, Sarah Pardy (l), Alby's mother, began working at the the school on a voluntary basis 12 years ago Sarah Pardy, Alby's mother, began working at the the school on a voluntary basis 12 years ago. Four years ago she joined the staff as a teaching assistant. "It [the closure] is a big thing for the village," she says. "I met my best friend here, a fellow parent, after we both moved to the area. "We found each other and have a lifelong friendship, and we got our children together and they will be lifelong friends. A HM Passport Office spokesperson told the Mirror: "Given recent interest in passports, we are seeing an increased number of people visiting our website to view appointment availability for urgent services.

They've all come through this school together. "My friend is devastated about the school closing. It is those memories we share about the school. "Every day when they come to a school like ours, you know as a parent they are safe and are looked after. It is a little family.

" Image caption, Half of the pupils at Wareside come from the village itself and the other half come in from outside A decade ago Wareside had 43 pupils on its roll. Now with just 19 children, four part-time teachers and a number of support staff, the pupils are divided into two classes depending on age. Half of the pupils come from the village itself and the other half come in from outside. Jo and James Crofts live in the village and have two children at the school, one in year six and another in year two. "We as parents have always felt the uniqueness of Wareside and the love it gives shines on within our children," she says.

Ms Crofts says her eldest boy was "heartbroken" when he learned of the closure. She says the mixed classes were a "benefit" rather than a shortcoming, helping her children build their confidence by mixing with a wider age range of peers. "Wareside School has been the beating heart of our village community." Image caption, Lindsay Barton is a school governor and a higher level teaching assistant. She says the closure is "tragic" Lindsay Barton, a higher level teaching assistant and member of the school's governing body, said: "If you watch them at play time, they all mix together.

"I know small schools are not for everyone, but I think they are so good for giving children confidence." Asked about the closure, she says: "It is tragic, it is just tragic. "Over the years, the numbers here have fluctuated. The cohort has always changed." Image caption, The government says there is always a presumption against closing rural schools According to government data there are 97 maintained primary schools in England with fewer than 50 pupils .

But while some schools have been closed, others have been opened. And the total number of maintained primary schools has risen slightly from 16,786 to 16,791 during the past five years. The government says there is always a presumption against closing rural schools and the impact on its surrounding community should be fully considered. It says small and remote schools get extra funding of £55,000 for primary schools and £80,000 for secondary schools. A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We understand that the closure of any school can be difficult for its students and wider community, prior to closure of Wareside Primary School a full consultation has taken place.

"Through the schools National Funding Formula we have more than doubled additional funding for small rural schools from £42 million in 2021-22 to £95 million in 2022-23. "This funding will help to maintain the viability of more rural schools and ensure they remain at the heart of village communities." Photography: Laurence Cawley .