Reprieve for Ten Mile Bank Riverside School as Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust agrees to keep it going until at least 2019

Child's letter on Ten Mile Bank School closing

Child's letter on Ten Mile Bank School closing - Credit: Archant

A closure threatened village school has won a reprieve for at least two more years - even though consultation is still on-going.

The Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust announced on Monday (28) that they are “no longer minded” to close Ten Mile Bank Riverside School, but instead will maintain it until at least August 2019.

In a statement issued on the trust’s website, it says through responses to the consultation, launched last month a “clear, loud and passionate voice has already been heard through meetings, letters and verbal briefings.”

It also accepts a particularly “strong consensus on two points” these include the fact the pupils are feeling anxious and unsettled, and there is concern this could distract them from learning.

The other point is that closure of the school will “impact very negatively on community cohesion, given the closure of other key services.”

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The statement says: “We believe these points alone, being so carefully put to us, should warrant a significant pause for thought. We therefore conclude that, while we must ensure that the consultation continues until December 20 to allow all opinions to be gathered, at the moment we are minded to not to propose closure.”

It goes on to say that unless income drops significantly, DEMAT, will maintain the school until 2019 and between now and then they will work with the local governing body to try to establish a sustainable future for the school, including exploring “emerging opportunities through the Fair Funding review.”

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They will particularly look at possible increased pupil-related funding under this review which is being considered at by the government.

And the statement concludes: “The longer-term future of any small school cannot be assured within the finances currently expected to be available, particularly if numbers on roll fall further, however it is clear that more time is needed to find a solution in this particular case.”

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