Parent of children at a West Wight school have been given only 2 days notice to decide which school to send their child to — despite being told they would have until June.
In a letter sent to parents of All Saints’ pupils on Tuesday, from the Isle of Wight Council, the application process for parents to ‘express a preference’ for a school place for September 2020 has been instigated.
Parents have been told to make their preferences known as soon as possible but at least by midday today (Thursday 26th March).
Carly Wyre-Nock, whose children attend All Saints, said:
“Some parents are feeling angry that we have been given two days to indicate our school choice for September, particularly as we have been told it would be June, and have had no support to make a real informed choice.
“There’s been no indication from the council as to why we need to decide now, nor have we had any directive as to where our children are to be educated during the transition period if we choose Yarmouth, which is a concern of some Freshwater families who do not have transport.”
All Saints CE Primary School in Freshwater will close at the end of August, to make way for a modern, one-form entry school in the West Wight to help reduce the number of excess places in the area — forcing current pupils to move to a different school.
Pupils can choose to move to Yarmouth CE Primary school which will, now the governors and the council are in ‘active discussions’, relocate to the newly built school in Freshwater.
The council has secured £4.5million in funding from the government to rebuild 95% of the school, which is likely to be ready for use in spring 2022.
In the interim, the council has said it will operate provisions across both Yarmouth School sites, including the former All Saints School in Freshwater, something Yarmouth parents supposedly found out before those at All Saints.
Carly said she personally had concerns about the safety and education standards if the children were to be kept on the seperate sites. She said:
“The funding being secured for the Freshwater site is fantastic news and welcomed by the local community, and is uplifting for All Saints’ parents who are still mourning the closure of their school.
“It now means plans can start progressing as promised by the council, however we are still left with uncertainty as many of our questions have been unable to be answered thus far, nor have we had any meeting offered with Yarmouth and Shalfleet governors.”
Despite concerns, Carly has called for unity and inclusion rents at what was an already troubled time.
A spokesperson for the council has said:
“The council had to wait until the Department for Education released the money that will be used for the new Freshwater school building to be able to start the admissions process.
“It was only decided at the very end of last week that Yarmouth Primary School would utilise both the Freshwater and Yarmouth sites to deliver its provision from September.
“All Saints’ children who want to join Yarmouth Primary School from September will continue to be educated on the Freshwater site. Pupils at Yarmouth Primary School will also remain on their current site.
“These arrangements will remain under review throughout the transition period.
“We hope parents can meet our deadlines shared with them in this week’s letter as that helps us take the necessary actions for new children starting in reception in September 2020 on national offer day.”