AN under-threat York school with a 150-year history has been saved from closure.

The trustees of The Education Alliance from the East Riding (TEAL) have agreed that they are keen to sponsor Naburn CE Primary School and are happy to move to the next stage of the process to support Naburn Primary to join their trust. 

As The Press previously reported, Ofsted rated the school as “inadequate”, but two subsequent monitoring inspections found its improvement plan is fit for purpose and school leaders are “taking effective action towards the removal of special measures".

The 48-pupil school has been struggling for several years due to falling pupil numbers and was told it could be closed if an academy chain sponsor could not be found to take it over.


Read next:

In a letter to parents after receiving the news from TEAL, head teacher, Jonathan Green,  said: "This is the best news we could expect at this time, however we recognise that there is plenty more work to do in the next six months to a year to ensure that this arrangement comes to fruition.

"It is important to recognise and thank everyone who has got the school to this position of security. The first of these goes to you all. You have been absolutely incredible in your support of the school and you have our utmost admiration for maintaining your faith and confidence in us, for being sensible in seeing the potential that the school has and understanding that there is more to a school than a judgement.

"We are so grateful. Bless you all.

"Children pick up on things very quickly and they also have shown great loyalty and understanding.

"They have totally bought into what Naburn CE Primary School stands for in the most challenging of circumstances and we thank them for their desire to help our school have another chapter.

"We have seen significant staffing change in the last eighteen months, which is not unusual when a school goes through such an upheaval. Every situation that initially appeared bad, had a really good ending and we have been lucky enough to replace previous staff with equally brilliant teachers and teaching assistants.

"Thank you to all the school staff. Once again, we could not have managed this
without your loyalty and expertise. The job is not finished, but we are getting there."

Chairman of governors, Anne Clark, said: "We're absolutely delighted. It's the best outcome that we could have wished for. It's been a lot of hard work. Obviously the initial Ofsted judgement was a real body blow, but the two interim Ofsted inspections have been really helpful. We have a good plan and we have been heading in the right direction.

"Hopefully now more parents will look at us and see that we're a really nice school and that their children can thrive here."

Wheldrake ward councillor Christian Vassie, who has been campaigning to save the school, said: "I am delighted that Naburn school is to remain open. I applaud the way that parents have kept the faith and stuck by their school through a difficult time, and I thank Jonathan Green, the headteacher, school staff and governors, Cllr Andrew Waller and council officers, for all their hard work and for recognising the importance of this school to its local community." 

"Local schools matter and being able to walk to your local primary school with your friends once you are old enough is part of growing up. This is wonderful news for the whole community. Long live Naburn School!"

Last year children at Naburn CE came dressed in Victorian costume to celebrate the fact that their school turned 150.