After attending the consultation meeting at Embleton Vincent Edwards School, I feel compelled to write down my views.
As a parent choosing the right school for my son is very important and after visiting other schools in the area, I decided to send him to the nursery at Embleton school last year with the intension of enrolling him in Reception when he came of age.
Imagine my horror when I heard that the powers that be had proposed to close the school that I had so carefully selected earlier this year. What followed has been a summer of worry as to whether I had made the right choice.
As I write, my son has been in Reception here for four weeks and any fears that I had have long since evaporated. My son is thriving and loves school life.
At the meeting Andy Johnson, director of education and skills, said that ‘children changing schools at a time other than that of the normal entry of their peer group has a detrimental impact on their progress’.
This is exactly what will happen to my son and his peers at the end of this school year if this closure goes ahead.
He also said that in his opinion small schools are ‘harder to run’. This may be true but the staff and governors here have been doing this for many years and in my opinion doing it very well.
In my opinion, small schools allow teachers to better tailor the teaching to individual children. It also allows the school to arrange events as a whole school rather than just a single class or yer group.
Within the last four weeks, for example, the school has been on a walk around the village to look at the place we live for their Northumbria topic and attended a charity coffee morning at the hotel in the village.
They are also planning a sponsored walk to the beach for Children In Need, where they are not just rising money for a good cause but will also be meeting the local Natural Trust lady, who may be doing some activities on the beach with the children.
There are also regular church assemblies held at our village church and there is my son’s favourite which is swimming every Monday morning.
I hope that after Mr Johnson visited our school that he realised what the rest of our community already knows which is that this is a fantastic school with first-class teaching staff at the heart of a thriving rural community.
I hope too that he will allow my son to spend the next seven years being educated here.