Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:08 UK

School under threat remains open

Rogate School protest
Children and parents protested at the possible Rogate closure

A village school that was threatened with closure will remain open, West Sussex County Council has said.

Rogate Primary School will also gain an extra year and take pupils up to the age of 11 instead of 10.

Parents who launched a campaign to save Rogate and held packed public meetings said they were "elated" at the news.

The decision followed consultation on all Rother Valley primary schools. The council said it wanted to keep village schools "wherever possible".

Sasha Boam, from Save Rogate School, said: "The news has been met with elation. Parents are thrilled that their children's schools are presently safe."

Plans for all primary schools in the area were unveiled on Thursday.

'Gradual change'

Councillor Pat Arculus, said the age at which children transfer to secondary school would change across the area from 10 to 11, in line with the national curriculum.

The cabinet member for children and young people's services said 2.5m would be invested in school buildings.

Three out of four proposed amalgamations will not be immediately taken forward, she added.

Rogate School protest
Rogate campaigners held packed public meetings in the village

She said: "Having listened very carefully to the views of the community I have decided that, rather than impose these changes, the county council should work with governing bodies to gradually develop new models of leadership."

Officers and schools would continue to work on future plans which could "retain schooling in local communities", she added.

And a "new model of funding" for Duncton and Graffham schools is still set to be trialled, she said.

Northchapel School will take pupils from year four to year 11, she said.

Councillor Arculus said changes would be introduced in September 2009.

A decision on plans for a secondary school academy in the Rother Valley is expected next month.

Village school fights to survive
22 Mar 08 |  England

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