School fears that downsizing will sabotage success

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STAFF and governors of a Worthing school feel that their hard work has been undermined following a consultation into the future of education.

The results of West Sussex County Council’s public consultation were published last week, with several amendments made as a result of feedback from Elm Grove First School, Goring First School and Thomas A Becket first and middle schools.

But the original proposals for Orchards, which will see the school become a four-form entry junior school, have not been changed.

Chair of governors Ian Chilvers said: “I am deeply disappointed that our representations to keep our school at its current size have been rejected.

“It is not by luck that our achievements and results are consistently high and still improving, it is down to a team of incredibly dedicated people who ensure that all of our children are given an incredible learning experience during their time with us whilst having access to facilities that are the envy of many of our fellow schools in Worthing.

“To reduce our size would be to deny a very large number of parents and their children the opportunity to become part of our community and, because of the reduction in funding allocated to us, would seriously jeopardise our ability to retain the amazing team of people who deliver to our children. “Why undermine all that we do so well?”

Head teacher Dr Paul Jones, said: “We are very disappointed with the decision to downsize us particularly in the light of our recent praise by the local authority for our school performance.

“The support of our parents to maintain our size and indeed Year 7 was very strong and we would urge all parents wishing to send their children to the school in the future to make their preferences evident to the local authority.

“We are very keen to maintain our current size, believe we offer an educational provision of the highest class and would like to continue to do so.”