Shropshire primary school closing for just one year
Pupils at a Shropshire primary school which is facing funding issues will be moved to one of two neighbouring schools, it has been confirmed.
Shropshire Council’s cabinet has signed off plans to transfer all of the students at Stiperstones Church of England to Norbury, but with the option to attend Chirbury, in January 2020.
The moves comes as the school has no pupils ready to start in September 2020 which would lead to a funding shortfall of about £25,000.
But Les Ball, headteacher of the Shropshire Hills Federation which runs the school, said he is keen to stress it is not closing.
The building is held in an education trust and Mr Ball said in the future he envisages the site being used by Norbury and Chirbury primary schools for outdoor and adventure activities.
He said it will mean improved efficiency of non-teaching staff and management, improved resources for children and financial security in the future.
Councillor for Chirbury Heather Kidd, who is a member of the federation, also spoke in support of the plans at the meeting in Shirehall yesterday.
“Stiperstones fought very hard many years ago to keep its school open because a school is a vital part of the community,” she said.
“But what these plans are not about a closure. It’s about children having the very best education. It’s about making sure we all have outstanding education.
“The schools will share things like business manager and a head teacher which will make a big difference to funding.”
All Stiperstones pupils will be provided with free transport to the Norbury site.
Parents choosing to send their children to Chirbury will be entitled to free transport of they are in the catchment of it is their closest school.
The children transferring to Norbury, where a new classroom will be built to accommodate the extra pupils, will continue to wear the Stiperstones school uniform.
If in future the governors apply to amalgamate the two school, it is likely that a new uniform would be proposed.
Currently there is no uniform at Chirbury Primary School, however a consultation has been launched regarding proposals to introduce one.
If a uniform is brought in, children moving from Stiperstones would wear the Chirbury uniform.