Ebrington Closure 11

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With the exception of four submissions, none of the other submissions, totalling over 200 emails and letters, expressed any concern about the limitations placed on pupils’ achievement by the size of Ebrington school or that the overall experiences provided were narrow and confined. Indeed, the very reverse was the case. Many of these submissions concerning education are immensely compelling, authoritative and powerful in their logical and systematic appraisal of the proposal. A significant number extend to over three pages of text. Within the limitations of this report, it is not possible to do justice to this body of evidence. However, a small sample of extracts from Interested Parties is set out below.
1 We have been presented with so called reasons for closure which any competent manager would take in their stride and find solutions. No other school is closing because the National Curriculum cannot be taught in mixed year groups or because of a simple timetabling problem. These are challenges for management and teachers but not insurmountable obstacles. [IP, 2016]
2 The children at Ebrington school have a long record of high achievement and of being 'Secondary Ready' as evidenced by the number of children from our school who are immediately placed in the top sets of Secondary schools and the local grammar schools. [IP, 2016]
3 Parents given the choice of St James or Ebrington had two very different schools to look at and this is the beauty of the Federation. Ebrington is very much a smaller but family spirited school caring for everyone and often included sensitive children or those who have special needs. The federation worked and continues to work. [IP, 2016]
4 My daughter went on to Chipping Campden Comprehensive School, achieved good results and then to University where she has gained a first class honours degree in Architecture. She gained her confidence at Ebrington and in many ways it prepared her for life in bigger institutions. She has also stayed close to her first friends at the school who have all similarly gone on to achieve at University in law, history and medicine. [IP, 2016]
5 Ebrington Primary is giving our son an extremely good educational experience, both academically and socially. We are delighted with the educational benefits our son is receiving (and hopes for our daughter) thanks to the teachers who do an incredible job. [IP, 2016]
6 We were not disappointed; for the past 11+ years we have been delighted with the education and preparation for life beyond primary school that Ebrington has provided. [IP, 2016] 24

7 Thanks to this wonderful environment, our two children have progressed quickly academically and are receiving an excellent education at Ebrington School. The teaching is to a very high standard and we have seen the benefits of the mixed-aged classes as pupils are taught as individuals according to their ability. The head and teachers have themselves reiterated these benefits of being in a small school several times. We believe the nurturing environment, individual attention and mixed-year teaching has contributed to our children settling well after moving from abroad and achieving so well educationally. [IP, 2016]
When we first moved to the area, we were encouraged to apply to St James as this seemed to be a mirror of the school she was leaving but my daughter didn’t settle so we relocated her to Ebrington where she flourished..... [IP, 2016]
8 Both of our children are thriving at the school, achieving above the national average in most subjects and by Ofsted standards receiving some outstanding teaching. More than just the curriculum requirements however I cannot put a high enough value on the contentment, enjoyment and happiness that they feel when they go to school each day. As a mother, the peace of mind and satisfaction of knowing how well your child is being nurtured is priceless. [IP, 2016]
9 I am a parent of two boys ... and I saw through their education that there are continually changes in the National Curriculum. Surely current changes are not a reason to close a well-established school? Surely we can't keep opening and closing schools based on the demands of a current curriculum, which is subject to continual changes. [IP, 2016]
10 There is no academic evidence to suggest that single age teaching will produce a higher and better quality of education than mixed age teaching. On the contrary, Ebrington school appears to prove this theory to be completely wrong! There is therefore no reason at all for closing the school on the grounds of a better quality of teaching and learning in single age classes. Similarly there is no evidence to prove that the children of Ebrington school suffer as a result of small class teaching [IP, 2016]
11 At a pre-consultation meeting the governors ....confirmed that there is no evidence of educational benefit from teaching in single age group classes, that it is merely a preference of some teachers. Given the good standard of education at Ebrington, this is not a good enough reason for closing a school. [IP, 2016]
As has been made clear by present day teachers at the pre consultation events, mixed age classes are a fact of life in the Cotswolds and there is simply no clear evidence that it is detrimental to teaching quality and in many cases is actually beneficial. This reason for change is not backed up by fact. [IP, 2016] 25
12 The school has actually a sustained record of excellence in the community with many of its pupils reaching extraordinary heights in their further education. [IP, 2016]
A total of 4 letters or emails were received from IPs supporting the proposal to close Ebrington School. These submissions closely reflected the rationale for the closure expressed by the Headteacher and the Governing Body. One email sets out logically the perceived advantages of single-years teaching and concluded the advantages to be:
A better targeted delivery of the National Curriculum in single year groups;
An equal distribution of time, resources and facilities for every child;
Improved planning, preparation and assessment for teachers and support staff;
Access to an appropriate learning environment. [IP, 2016]
Another IP supported the proposal for two reasons:
A better continuous delivery of the curriculum by a greater number of staff;
The advantages of the St James’s site. [IP, 2016]