Devastated

RE: PROPOSAL to close St Barnabas School: I am a mother of two children who have attended St Barnabas since their reception year, one is now in year two, one is in reception and my third child is due to start in September. When I heard the news of consult

RE: PROPOSAL to close St Barnabas School: I am a mother of two children who have attended St Barnabas since their reception year, one is now in year two, one is in reception and my third child is due to start in September.

When I heard the news of consultation last Thursday I was devastated. My children do really well at St Barnabas and I feel they will not achieve their full potential at a larger school.

St Barnabas was my choice of school because it was small and having done work experience there and in other larger schools in Portishead, I have seen firsthand the difference a small school makes and how much the children benefit from this.

I feel that by closing St Barnabas it takes away our choice as parents to send children to the school we want. As I live at the top end of Portishead there would only be one other school to which I could send my children as I do not drive. The other schools are a fair distance from where we live. My children are extremely upset that they could lose their school. They have said: "St Barnabas is fun and happy and we like it there." When told their school could close they said they were sad, angry and that if the school closes they didn't want to go to school. This time last year I had been moved to Yatton, as I had just been widowed and consequently was temporarily homeless. I paid £28 a day to send my son to school and some weeks he stayed at his aunt's house in Portishead which meant I didn't see him for a week or so. I did this because he did not want to move school and I felt his education and emotional stability would suffer so I made the decision to keep him at St Barnabas, who as a school helped him to adjust to losing his father. I feel in a larger school he would not have received the same level of support. At St Barnabas every child is an individual and each one thrives in a close-knit supportive environment, I am very concerned that this individuality will be lost in a larger school.


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I hope that before any final decision is made a big effort is made by the LEA to publicise the strengths of St Barnabas instead of continually emphasising the negative. Whilst 40 children may seem like a small number, if St Barnabas closes this will have an adverse affect on each and every one of them possibly limiting their future prospects. I therefore urge you to make every effort to keep St Barnabas open.

EMMA HEAL - Brendon Road, Portishead

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