Summary of the Consultation Meeting held by ESCC 16th July
The consultation meeting started with an introduction to parents with the names and roles
of the councillors and representatives in attendance.
The presentation started with a slideshow.
● Fletching C of E Primary School is a small rural school. In each of the last 5 years it
has been undersubscribed. The capacity of Fletching School is 105, with a PAN of 15.
The Council quoted surplus places at 32% in this current year.
Pupil admissions were taken from the January of each year.
2014/15 – 79 pupils
2015/16 – 82 pupils
2016/17 – 67 pupils
2017/18 – 65 pupils
2018/19 – 71 pupils
Parents noted this slide and part of the review only considered the incoming Reception
children and not the growth of pupils over the year, in all classes. For instance, 7 children (in
various year groups) moved to Fletching School from surrounding schools throughout this
Parents also noted that historically the school has never had an intake of 105 and as far back
as records go this confirms this.
● The next slide went on to pupils’ home location.
There are 26 children who attend Fletching School in the local community area. 16 children
chose other schools.
The Officers did accept that reasons may include siblings at other schools, moving in to
the area and the parents place of work etc.
● The subsequent slide in this section showed home locations of the out of area
Parents were quick to point out that this was a positive thing, some parents choosing to
drive out of area and passed their local school because of Fletching school’s nurturing and
inclusive approach to teaching.
Parents also raised the question of “the Fletching School community area” – The Council
representatives were unable to clarify which villages are covered in the local area and
therefore were unable to answer a number of questions raised.
● The presentation moved on then to local birth rates and future housing
ESCC predict a very low birth rate and only 8 new houses to be built in “Fletching Schools
local area” in the foreseeable future.
Parents again asked what this area is?
They also asked how the high housing needs in surrounding areas aren’t being considered
when the local surrounding schools are all at capacity.
● The representatives then went on to explain the future viability of the school and the
forecast deficit of £145,863 by year 3.
It was discussed in the room that with pupil numbers at 90 per year, the school would be
viable and at present time the school is not in a deficit. The number of 90 pupils was
confirmed by Head Teacher Gemma White.
● Quality of education was barely considered by the panel and when directly queried,
the Councillor admitted this is “A GOOD SCHOOL.”
It has been noted that there are variations in attainment in all key stages with an improving
trend – Parents also chose to remind the panel that our ‘improving trend’ is the very reason
our Head was asked to become Executive Head of Schools to include Chailey St Peters as
well as Fletching School.
Whilst meeting with the panel, a few parents became exasperated and asked “Is this a done
deal?”, “Haven’t you already made your mind up?”. Councillor Bob Standley, Lead Member
of ESCC Consultation took this opportunity to stand up and vehemently insist “This is not a
done deal!” He then went on to assure parents, the reason he was at the meeting was to
help him collate all the information needed.
The parents with a lot of questions left to ask, were informed they were out of time and any
further questions were to be directed to the ESCC consultation hub, where they will be
uploaded and answered. This has not yet been done and the Save Fletching School
campaign group will push for the hub to be updated urgently.