Parents begin fight to save Southfield
After the shock news of the school’s closure parents say the decision doesn’t make sense
A campaign has begun to save a Brackley primary school which is set to shut at the end of this school year.
Governors at Southfield Primary Academy last week informed parents that falling numbers of pupils – and predicted future falls – had led to the decision.
The news came as a shock to parents, who are now fighting to keep Southfield open.
Nicola Peel-Yates has two daughters there. She told Banbury FM the news came as a shock. Nicola said: “We have known admission numbers are down and the school has not had the best reputation and great Ofsted reports, but Mr Green, the head, had come in and was really turning it around. We’re seeing better results and we’re seeing the school gets stronger.”
The announcement has upset Nicola’s daughters. She said: “They’re absolutely devastated – they’ve cried a lot. They’re concerned about their friends.
“My eldest in particular needs a plan: she needs to know where she’s going, and I can’t give her that. She’s very anxious.”
The school says they are working closely with West Northamptonshire Council and the Department for Education to ensure that all affected children will have access to an alternative nearby school, but parents are questioning how this will be achieved.
Nicola said: “I’ve been calling around the schools within Brackley and asking how much space they have, and it’s not adding up. They say they hope to keep all Southfield children together in one place in Brackley, but we can’t see how that’s possible. There’s no consideration of what’s good for the children.”
An online petition to save Southfield Primary has received over 600 signatures in less than three days.
Parents say the decision to close the school doesn’t make sense and they have a lot of questions which remain unanswered.
Nicola said: “We’ve heard that the Council weren’t consulted about this decision to close the school. We’re wondering how that can happen?
“We’re also being told that the town’s not growing and they’re not building more houses, but we can all see houses going up. I think there’s planning for 1000 more houses in Brackley – 89 of them are on the Banbury Road, which is where the school is.”
“There’s talk that it will cost £5m to repair the school, to make it perfect. I find that hard to believe. It feels like maybe they just want to sell off the land and build on it.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam