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Another Wiltshire school closes

June 8, 2011 10:06 AM
By Trevor Carbin

Wiltshire Council wants to close Grafton school. The primary school was the smallest in the county with just 12 pupils this term, and with no sign of any more coming in as local parents have sent their children elsewhere.

Following the announcement of closure one further representation has been received from a parent intending to move into the area.

He says, "It is criminal to close a school just because people would appear to have effectively lost interest in running it, and have resigned themselves to closure. Discipline in small schools is no doubt easier to maintain and there are many positive things about small schools which appear to get forgotten." He suggests making the school a feeder for St John's, Marlborough would encourage more parents to send their children to Grafton.

Because of the objection the final decision on closure has to go to a 'cabinet' meeting next week. The cabinet decision will however still be to go ahead with the shut-down.

The catchment area of Great Bedwyn will be extended to include Grafton.

Wiltshire County Council has been steadily picking off the smaller village schools either by closure or by federation. Wiltshire Liberal Democrats have published an explanation of the way smaller schools can quickly spiral downwards into closure, using the loss of Steeple Ashton school as a case study. Please get in touch if you'd like a copy.

The school will close this summer. The future use of the building hasn't been decided, nor has the fate of the pre-school which uses it.

For the cabinet report see:
http://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieAgenda.aspx?A=5648 (Select 'Agenda Supplement')