A south Norfolk junior school being considered for closure will learn of its fate next month, after it received a second consecutive ‘Requires Improvement’ rating from regulatory body Ofsted.
The latest report on Brockdish Primary School, one of the UK’s smallest schools with just 12 pupils currently enrolled, acknowledged the difficulties the school is facing, as Norfolk County Council deliberates whether it will shut its doors at the end of the academic year.
The inspector praised the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, the standard of personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils — however, it concluded improvements were needed on leadership and management, and early years provisions.
The report, published on Monday, stated: “The school is going through an unsettling period as it awaits the outcome of the consultation on closure.
“Too much is asked of the head of school, the only permanent teacher on the staff, who is allocated no time to manage the school. School leaders do not have the capacity to check the performance of the school rigorously.”
But the findings emphasised the ‘positive climate for learning’ established by staff and governors, and said parents felt the school, located in Grove Road, had improved in recent times.
“Despite the uncertain future, governors and staff are highly focused on maintaining an orderly, purposeful and positive ethos to ensure pupils continue to do well in their personal and academic development,” the report continued.
“In particular, very positive relationships between staff and pupils promote good progress.”
Joel Crawley, the executive headteacher for both Brockdish and Alburgh with Denton Primary Schools, said: “Governors and I have been working hard to improve the standard of education for our pupils.
“I am delighted that the inspectors have highlighted the progress we have made since the last inspection.
“Our governors believe our pupils deserve a school with a sustainable future and a permanent headteacher where they make progress in the long term.
“The formal consultation has ended and we await to hear what the next step for the school will be.”
According to consultation documents, a decision on Brockdish Primary’s future is expected some time in April.