Yoxford Primary School headteacher insists ‘refreshed, confident’ teachers are raising standards after Peasenhall Primary closure decision

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:19 15 September 2016

Yoxford Primary School.

Yoxford Primary School.

The headteacher of Yoxford Primary School has said his school will not suffer the same fate as Peasenhall Primary, insisting “refreshed, confident” teachers are now improving standards.

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne said he supported the decision taken by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet to issue a formal notice of closure to 16-pupil Peasenhall Primary this week.

The school was rated ‘outstanding’ just five years ago but was rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures by Ofsted last year. The school’s leadership and sustainability was criticised by the education watchdog.

Earlier this year, pupils were moved to Yoxford Primary School, which was part of a four-school federation along with schools in Bramfield and Middleton. Yoxford was also rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures in 2015, but Ofsted has praised senior leaders for taking effective action to remove special measures.

Mr Aalders-Dunthorne said: “Peasenhall was in a position where it had gone beyond the point at which any intervention would have saved it.

“There was a fall in (pupil numbers), the way in which schools are measured by Ofsted are radically different, and I do believe that the Yoxford, Peasenhall and Middleton schools have been let down in the past.

“But we have a refreshed, confident staff here, and internal surveys have come back largely positive.

“There is always concern when a small school is under threat of closure but the decision by the cabinet will be welcomed as a drawing of a line, allowing us to move forward.”

There are plans to build a new classroom at the 68-pupil school, which will then have capacity for 105 pupils.

The Department for Education has issued a compulsory academisation order for Yoxford Primary. The Consortium Multi-Academy Trust, of which Mr Aalders-Dunthorne is the chief executive, is the preferred trust. The trust also runs Mendham Primary School and St Edmund’s Primary School in Hoxne.

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