13th March: Formal consultation and Statutory Notice to close the Ockley
base from the end of this academic year, has been announced. You can read the announcements here, and here; a copy of the official response form can be found here.
Thank you to those who have taken the time to
email us with concerns regarding the school.
Many schools in the country are under threat of
closure due to government funding issues. In most of these cases, the Head and
the Governors would be working side by side with the parents and the community,
fighting for the survival of the institutions that have been at the heart of
rural village life for many years.
The places that survive are the ones where the
leadership harnesses the goodwill and determination of the community, actively
involving its people in the planning of decisions, and the development of
proposals. Gathering support, funding ideas and accepting offers of assistance as
part of a team effort - before it is too late.
Sadly that has not been the case at
Scott-Broadwood Infant School, and the head and governors did not inform the
parents/carers and community of the grave threat the Ockley base was under
until virtually irretrievable. Getting timely information from the school has
been a battle at every step. The governors and the Diocese rejected the motion
to reconsider their proposal, as requested at the Ockley village meeting on
We had taken initial steps to ascertain whether
joining the Castle Multi-Academy Trust would be a viable option, and those
present at the village meeting may recall the CEO speaking. Sadly, this is no
longer an option, as they are now exploring a proposal to develop their own infant
school on their existing site in Horsham.
As a Parent Action Group we will continue to
present all the information we have at the consultation, including the
community impact statements. We will continue to hold the leadership to
account. But we are parents first and foremost, and our first duty is to our
children. Given some of the information that we have uncovered during our work
in the last few weeks, the turmoil and uncertainty the school will undoubtedly
face, and the lack of trust in the current leadership, many of us have made the
difficult decision to place our children at other schools - difficult because
they have blossomed at the school under the fantastic classroom teaching staff.
We have fought hard, and will continue to do so
going into consultation. But we are not prepared to play dice with our
children's education when it is clear that the Diocese, the Local Authority,
the Head and the governors are all pulling in the other direction.
We now expect the consultation to begin next
Monday 13th, a one week delay due to governor resignations, although yet again
this is still to be confirmed...
If you have any further questions or concerns
please direct them to Mr Richard Herbert. Not only is he the chair of Ockley
Parish Council, but also a sitting governor, and therefore ideally placed to
handle all enquiries.
Ockley Parish Council meets at the village hall on Monday 6th March. The potential closure of the school is on the agenda.
Diocese of Guildford The diocese have issued a statament regarding the potential school closure, it can be viewed here:
The deadline given to Scott-Broadwood's management team by the Parent Action Group (as recommended by by the local councillors and concerned villagers) has unfortunately passed without any change of decision. The consolidation of the school to the Capel base is proceeding despite 3 members of the schools governing body resigning in as many weeks.
Officially, consultation is still expected to be announced from the school in March. If you haven't done so, please send your letters of concern to the addresses below at your earliest convenience. Many thanks in advance.
Thank you to everyone
that has completed an impact statement so far. The response has been
overwhelming, and the support unmistakable. Keep them coming! They really help,
and highlight the many different reasons why a school in the village is vital
for the community.
At the Ockley village meeting last Tuesday, the motion passed was that the
governors reconsider their decision to recommend that Scott-Broadwood be
consolidated onto a single site in Capel. As the Parent Action Group, we
formally submitted our request to the Chair of Governors on Wednesday. We
followed that up on Friday with a letter to all governors where we highlighted
the reasons why that request should be considered. Namely that a proper
consultation of parents/carers, the local community, and trustees/landowners
had not been undertaken in a timely manner, or in accordance with official
On Friday evening we received a reply from the Chair of Governors, The Hon.
Gillian Christie. She stated that the letter had been forwarded to all
governors, but that also she would be resigning as a governor with immediate
effect. We were asked to direct all further correspondence to the school, and
have not as yet heard who will take over as Chair.
We are expecting a reply to our formal request by Wednesday, and we will have a
better idea of where we go next once we hear from the Acting Chair, whomever
that may be...
We found a freely available document on the Diocese website called the
"Draft Handbook for Diocesan Schools and Colleges 2016-2017 (Version 3).
On page 43 there is a
chapter called 'The Small Schools Problem'. It really sums up how we arrived at
this situation, and also the preferred options of the Diocese going forward. It
is attached here for interest, and would appear to indicate that we won't be
the only infant school under threat of closure in Surrey.
Thanks again for all the support, more to follow when we have it.
Statement from Parent
Action Group, Ockley School
Many thanks for the wonderful turn out and support shown at
our meeting in the Village Hall this Tuesday (14th February). As you are now aware the Governors at Scott-Broadwood
School have recommended that the base here in Ockley is closed at the end of
A formal consultation process will begin on 6th
March which will last for a month and a decision to the future of the school
will be made soon after.
What can you do to
the Chair of Governors (Gill Christie) requesting her to withdraw the
recommendation to close Ockley Base and to stop the consultation process, in
order for us to keep the school open for another academic year in our attempt
to turn the school around. Contact: email@example.com
In case the Governors refuse to take these
steps, we still need to prepare for the official consultation. In order to do this we need your impact
statements as soon as possible. Please
email these to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How will we update you?
will update you regularly on this page, and you can also follow us on facebook.
will also post information on the village notice
and via email for those of you that have provided us with your email address.
you for your continued support!
last updated: 15/2/17
The school's future is in doubt: the original news article can be found by clicking here.
An action commttee is being formed. They invite as many people as possible to write to our MP, Sir Paul Beresford. Please find attached a suggested letter here.
Please edit by adding your name/address and, if you don't currently
have a child at the school but are concerned at its future, please
delete or alter the first paragraph that says "My [son/daughter] attends
the school in Ockley, in Year 1."