A COUNTY school which was saved by its community when it became at risk of temporarily closing last year is looking ahead to a bright future.

With the appointment of new head teacher Louise Crocker, a growing increase in pupil numbers and a new curriculum due to launch from September, Michaelchurch Escley School is putting recent setbacks behind it and looking forward.

The Hereford Times reported in December 2013 that the school – one of the smallest in the county – could be facing temporary closure.

The school’s governors planned to move pupils to Longtown Primary – at that time Michaelchurch Escley’s federated partner – while they considered its future.

However, support from the community secured a future for the school and Mrs Crocker – whose children also attend – and the governors now say they are “totally committed” to moving forward with plans to increase the amount of outdoor learning through the Forest Schools initiative and the new IPC curriculum.

From September, a new International Primary Curriculum (IPC) in September is set to allow children to connect with both their local and international communities.

A unique project – flexi-schooling – is also offered at the school. It means that parents can sign an agreement to take their children out of school two days a week – but must ensure that the course is continued at home on those two days.

And from January 2015, a new pre-school will open, further securing a sustainable future for Michaelchurch.

“Louise and the governors believe that by capitalising on the school’s remarkable location and developing the curriculum to make it adaptable to the needs of all children through the implementation of the IPC, more parents will be encouraged to send their children to Michaelchurch Escley,” said Fleur Davies, who manages the school’s public relations and trustee for the new pre-school.

“An extensive marketing program is also in progress to find families who want to give their children the opportunity to achieve high academic standards in a school with an ethos centred around child centred learning that does not pigeon hole children but recognises each child’s unique qualities and nurtures them in a happy exciting and fun-filled environment.

“I have three children in school and have never once said they didn’t want to go to school. They count sleeps to go back. It’s a happy place and they are learning very well.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Michaelchurch can visit michaelchurch-escley.hereford.sch.uk