Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School is one of five schools now identified as ‘vulnerable’ by West Sussex County Council and facing an uncertain future. This is the stark reality - devastating news for the villages of Clapham and Patching, residents, staff, pupils - past and present - and their parents alike.
Whilst this is a bitter blow, it is just the beginning, and it is important that everyone in the village is aware they have the opportunity to take part in the consultation process and make their voice heard. This is not the first time that our village school has come under threat and many residents have shared memories of the protests that took place over 25 years ago and the more recent threat of closure before the current headteacher was appointed nearly 10 years ago. The power of the people of Clapham and its neighbours in Patching cannot be underestimated and the council is urging everyone to ‘have their say’ in the fight to secure the school’s future.
Some of you will be past pupils, others will have had children who went here or formed another close association with the school. The current pupils are an integral part of the village, singing carols at Clapham Lodge and distributing apple crumbles to the elderly villagers as part of the Harvest Festival celebrations. The school has a wonderful ethos, unlike any other, able to provide support to those who might not otherwise thrive in a large mainstream setting and it is a special place for them. The fact that Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School has survived since the 1800s is because parents have actively sought out the school as a place for their children to flourish!
Clapham and Patching Church of England Primary School may be a small school, but it has a big heart, an excellent reputation, extending far beyond its parish boundaries, and is truly worthy of a future. The parish council will be adding its support as part of the formal consultation process, which runs until the 25 November 2019.
This is the link to the survey although if you require any assistance in accessing it please speak to one of the councillors who will be happy to help you. Response forms can also be returned to ‘The Junction’.
Please support the campaign to ‘Save our School’