LETTER: In staunch defence of school after criticism

WE are responding as the governing body of Stedham Primary School to the recent letter written by Karen Gilmore and published in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer on May 7.

Firstly we are saddened by the fact that Ms Gilmore’s son had an unhappy experience during his primary school years. A child’s time at school should be a positive experience where they receive the highest standard of education.

However Ms Gilmore’s letter contains a number of inaccuracies which we feel need to be addressed.

Stedham Primary School is not an inadequate school. It was judged as ‘good’ by Ofsted at the school’s last inspection in May 2014. Ofsted has never judged the school as ‘inadequate’.

The school site is small, as are most rural primary schools, and the school has built within the grounds, a fit-for-purpose wooden hut. This hut is solid, sits on concrete foundations and has been built to a high standard. It is wrong to describe this building as a wooden temporary classroom.

And lastly, children are not forced to come to Stedham Primary and never forced to stay if at any time a child is unhappy and it would be beneficial for that child to go elsewhere. Stedham Primary is a school where pupils are happy, lively and engaged and benefit from a good standard of education as, with small numbers, children are taught by ability as opposed to age, as in larger schools.

Children make good progress while in the school and leave after Year 6 having had a solid and positive education during their primary years.

For Ms Gilmore to suggest that the school close and for the land to be sold to benefit schools in Midhurst is upsetting to the school staff and local school community. This is a well-loved and fully-supported local school. Some parents prefer their children to be educated in a smaller more nurturing school such as Stedham Primary and to withdraw this choice would be morally wrong.

The Board of Governors

Stedham Primary School