A VILLAGE school in West Devon says it is doing all it can to remain viable as it suffers from falling numbers on roll.

Lady Modiford’s Primary School in Walkhampton says it is not alone in trying to cope with the situation presented by fewer parents planning to send their children to the school in September. Across the country small schools especially are having to think of new ways of reorganising as rolls fall.

The school is run by the multi-primary St Christopher’s Church of England Multi-Academy Trust which said there are no plans to shut the school and everything is being done to keep it open as a school at the ‘centre of the community.’

A statement from headteacher Suzy Dyter said: “Due to the national picture of falling birth rates, many schools are experiencing reduced intakes and the need to review class structures.  Despite conjecture about the reception intake for September, the school is strongly committed to the ongoing education of the pupils into next academic year and beyond.  As with all schools at this time of year, we are currently reviewing the deployment of our experienced staff, to continue to secure the best provision for our pupils.”

Lady Modiford's CofE Primary School remains the centre of Walkhampton life.
Lady Modiford's CofE Primary School remains the centre of Walkhampton life. (Lady Modiford's CofE Primary School)

Over the last academic year the school has welcomed many new pupils and staff members, including Suzy herself (who is highly experienced), the deputy head and class teachers Sarah Reid and Sam Ogalo. The school also has ‘strong’ teaching assistants supporting academic learning and pupils’ social/emotional needs.

Suzy said this team provides a distinctive curriculum to meet the needs of the village community, in and outside the school. “We continue to invest in buildings, staffing and resourcing.  Trust leaders and staff are developing the educational experiences in the classroom, within the school ground and in the community and environments beyond, tailored to the unique structures required in this small school.”

Jo Evans, St Christopher's Trust CEO, said: “There are absolutely no plans to run down and close the school. We are all working together on effective and creative solutions to deal with the nationwide phenomenon of falling roles, but retaining Lady Modiford’s distinctive character.”