Norfolk

Mileham Primary and Sewell Park sixth form closures proposed

Sewell Park College, Norwich Image copyright Google
Image caption Sewell Park College in Norwich has about 80 pupils in its sixth form

A Norfolk primary school and the sixth form at a high school could close.

The county council is proposing Mileham Primary near Dereham shuts because, with 27 pupils, it is too small.

Governors at Sewell Park College, Norwich, want to close its sixth form to focus on the rest of the school.

A teaching union has been critical of the Sewell Park proposal, while governors at Mileham said they will fight closure.

The council has published statutory public notices about the proposals ahead of four week consultations.

'Keep fighting'

It is proposing that children at Mileham attend nearby Litcham Primary instead.

Gary Sinclair, chairman of Mileham's governors, said: "There are houses being built in Mileham and I don't know how many children are going to be here in 10 years time, no-one does.

"We will keep on fighting to try and keep the school open."

A council spokesman said: "We have been looking at how we can improve standards in Mileham because the school is without a permanent head teacher and Ofsted has said the school requires improvement.

"The school now has fewer than 30 pupils and we have concerns about how it can be successful for all of its pupils."

'Fair, right and proper'

Sewell Park College was put in special measures by Ofsted following an October inspection.

John Catton, chairman of governors, said the sixth form had about 80 pupils, and if closure was approved existing pupils could finish their courses.

"We don't feel that it's fair, right and proper for young people that we give them anything but the best and, until we improve to the standard we wish to improve to, we don't wish to suggest we can do a good job," he said.

"Sometime over the next three to five years we may be in a position to re-start the sixth form."

Des Hart, regional officer for the National Union of Teachers, said: "A school for 11-18 year olds provides pupils and staff with a extra breadth of experience and aspiration.

"The danger is it could be the start of a slow closure process, because it makes the school less attractive to teachers and parents."

Final decisions on the closures will be made by the county council after the consultations.

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