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Sapientia Education Trust to merge Burston and Tivetshall Primary School


By Newsdesk Diss


Consultations started this week on amalgamating two small south Norfolk primary schools.

In a county of small schools, Burston and Tivetshall, which are both part of the Sapientia Trust and share an executive headteacher and governing body, are among the smallest.

Pupil numbers at both schools have fallen in recent years.

Trust chief executive Jonathan Taylor said it was vital to consider how small schools can be sustainable. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Trust chief executive Jonathan Taylor said it was vital to consider how small schools can be sustainable. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Tivetshall is down to 16, with Burston at 29.

“The proposed amalgamation would help ensure the ongoing viability of locally-based education in the villages,” a trust statement said.

Jonathan Taylor, the trust chief executive officer, said: “Sapientia Education Trust is committed to supporting and nurturing the qualities found within small schools and to providing the strategic leadership that enables pupils to flourish.

“To achieve this, it is vital to consider how small schools can be sustainable moving forwards, to provide the best possible education for all the children.

“The proposal to amalgamate the two schools builds on the long-established links between the schools and would help to ensure future viability.

“In the opening consultation, we are very interested in hearing views from stakeholders and the wider community.”

The trust’s statement on the amalgamation added: “There are many benefits to teaching and learning in small schools. The children are known by all staff as individuals and can be provided with the support and challenge that is right for each young person. Pupils have opportunities to engage in school life and develop responsibilities at an earlier age and are encouraged to feel part of a community. Many parents choose small schools specifically for these very reasons.”

Public meetings were held at Tivetshall and at Burston.

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Written responses can be submitted to Catriona Mitchell at Sapienta Education Trust, Golf Links Road, Morley St Botolph, Norfolk, NR19 9SX, by November 15.


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