Decision due on closure of school praised by Ofsted

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Doncaster primary school from closure fear they now need a miracle to keep it open.

Governors from Sycamore Primary School in Cantley will make the case to keep the school open when it goes before Doncaster Council’s cabinet for a decision on Wednesday.

But deputy chairwoman of the school governors Annie Morgan admits saving the primary now looks unlikely after parents started signing up for other schools because of concerns it will shut.

The council has been handed a petition of more than 3,000 names opposing the closure.

But the roll has fallen further since the council announced proposals to close it from 83 pupils in January to 45 last month. It has a capacity of 207.

Mrs Morgan said: “We are still fighting for the school, and there is a hard core of people battling. But it now looks like unless there is a miracle and we can find 200 children it is looking as though it will close.

“We are still trying to think of ways and keep positive. Many of those who have left may come back if the school was not threatened with closure.”

Sycamore was praised by Ofsted in November, with inspectors rating it as a good school.

But the council has looked to close it because of the number of surplus places.

A report before cabinet states: “Closing the school would remove 203 surplus places and release approximately £434,000 into the dedicated schools grant, some of which would follow pupils who move to other schools and some which would be released to benefit primary schools in Doncaster.”

It said the funding per pupil at Sycamore was £9,645 compared with Doncaster’s average funding per primary pupil of £4,074.

If it was to close, pupils would be expected to go to either Hatchell Wood or Hawthorn primary schools, dependent on parental preference.