Fight continues to save Peak school

Will Flash Primary School survive the cuts?
Will Flash Primary School survive the cuts?

GOVERNORS at an under-threat Peak District school have vowed to fight on as education chiefs are poised to wield the axe.

A meeting was due to be held at Flash Village Hall last night (Wednesday) to discuss challenging the resolution by Staffordshire County Council to commence formal statutory consultation on a proposal to close Flash C of E Primary School, near Buxton.

The controversial decision is expected to result in the closure of England’s highest village school on August 31, with pupils being offered places at Blackshaw Moor CE (VC) First School or Churnet View Middle School.

But following a meeting last Thursday, governors at Flash expressed their anger at the Cabinet’s decision – coming ahead of a review of primary education in the north Moorlands – and are demanding an immediate stay of execution.

“Parents are in a quandary,” parent governor Jennifer Barber explained. “Our nursery provision is at St Bartholomew’s in Longnor, yet we are being advised to send our children to Blackshaw Moor.”

Craig Balderstone, whose son will be affected by the planned closure, added: “At best this can be described as chaotic.

“How are we able to choose and guide other parents which school they should go to next? How can we be sure that any Moorlands school will not be recommended for closure following the review, unless others already know the answer?”

Governors also fear the views of the local community have been ignored; of the 106 published responses to a four-week consultation, 88 per cent were in favour of keeping the school open.

Flash School, which opened in 1860, currently teaches nine pupils – two of whom joined in January – but has a capacity for 42.

Despite being judged as ‘satisfactory’ in its last Ofsted report, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Cllr Liz Staples, said at the January 19 Cabinet meeting that Flash School “no longer represents a good, viable learning environment for the remainder of the pupils.”