Closure-threatened school SAT results higher than national average Winterton Primary School has confounded council officers’ suggestions it is not providing a good enough education by turning in higher than average SATs results.

In a letter to parents on Friday acting head teacher Martin White wrote: “I am happy to report to parents that at Key Stage 2, Key Stage 1, Year 1 Phonics and at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, our results show that the school is largely above the Norfolk and national averages and demonstrates that children are making appropriate, and often better progress as they move through all years at the school.

“This is not just my opinion; this is evidenced by these statutory assessments. It demonstrates that as a school we are providing an effective education despite the significant disruptions, particularly in Starfish and Seal classes, that we have experienced this year.”

The results fly in the face of comments from Norfolk County Council’s assistant director for children’s services, Chris Snudden, that her department was deeply concerned about the lack of leadership at the school and the quality of education.

Mr White, who took over in January this year, described the remarks as somewhat disappointing. “I understand why there are concerns about the leadership of the school and therefore the quality of education in the future, but at the moment this is not a fair comment - in my opinion!” he said.

“However, having got that off my chest, I would personally like to thank the staff for their hard work and commitment to the children at the school during what has been a very difficult year.”

The fight to save the school from closure at the end of this year has won the backing from several county councillors. They share villagers’ concerns that plans in the pipeline for many more houses in the area and the lack of space at nearby Hemsby Primary School will result in local children being bussed further afield for their education.
Criticism has also been levelled at the interim executive board, currently responsible for running the school, for failing to explore every possible avenue to keep it open.

At last week’s children’s services committee meeting in County Hall councillors were unhappy at officers’ refusal to identify which academies had been approached to consider partnering with the school. Members of the Save Winterton School Campaign are set to meet the officers in the near future to discuss the issue further.

Provisional SATs results showing how the county has done are expected to be published in August or September and the finalised results will appear in a schools performance table in December.

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