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Parents' success in saving Whitbourne school
PARENTS’ efforts to save their local school have been rewarded – as Whitbourne C of E Independent School and Hub is due to open its doors in the coming weeks.
When it was announced in February this year that the village’s only school would close its doors, a group of parents vowed to keep it open.
And that is just what they’ve done, with the help of the local community and Sheenagh Davis, the chief executive of the HOPE Centre in Bromyard – a family support centre she founded 14 years ago.
Sheenagh will be the school leader, and says that already nine pupils are ready to start at the school as soon as few finishing touches are completed.
Two trained teachers will ensure the pupils are given a good education on the site of the former school.
Sheenagh says she wants to keep it as a non-fee paying school for four to 11 year olds that focuses more on outdoor and skills-based learning rather than mainstream styles of education.
It is a similar story to that of St Mary’s Primary School in Dilwyn, which was saved by the community last year.
Sheenagh said: “We’ve had so many offers of help in all sorts of areas, from teaching to answering the phones and cleaning.
“I also want to thank the Diocese of Hereford forallowing us to use the school for free.
“We still need some resources, such as desks, chairs and stationery, so if anyone can donate items that would be great.”
Sheenagh said the school will apply for free school status in December, but it would be ideal for the school to be self-funding and completely free of restrictions on how the education is delivered.
Deb Walker’s daughter will attend the school. She said she feels lucky to have been part of the project.
She added: “The term 'saved' is true in the sense that a school has been saved for the village but what has been created is new and exciting and will hopefully be better than ever.
“Everyone has worked so hard since and we all feel quite lucky to have been part of this project and cannot wait to open and grow in numbers.”
To find out more, call 07812 060549 or visit www.wishlearning.com.
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