Springfield Infant School, Worthing: Children’s Video “Love Actually”

Children at a preschool have appeared in a Love Actually-style video objecting to plans to merge with two other schools in the area.

More than 800 people have also signed a petition supporting Springfield Infant School in Worthing in its fight to maintain its autonomy.

The fight began after West Sussex County Council announced its plans to cut 953 primary school places across the county that it said were surplus.

The plans called for Springfield, Lyndhurst Infants and Chesswood Juniors to be merged into one continuous elementary school using the Chesswood and Springfield campuses.

But the message from Springfield was a resounding “no, actually”.

Richard O’Callaghan, Chairman of the Governors, said: “Springfield has no excess land, so our inclusion in a school merger will not affect the key issue this consultation seeks to address.

“We fear that a merger would jeopardize the excellent teaching, celebrated Send offering (special education and disabilities) and unique ethos of our school as decisions and resources are pooled and potentially focused on supporting the newly merged location.

“To date, we have not received any solid justification [the council] for disrupting three schools instead of just two.

“As such, we want the ‘one school, two locations’ option to be taken off the table.”

He was supported by Parent Governor Sara Montgomery, who said, “Springfield is a special place that offers a nurturing ‘little school’ to young children beginning their formal educational journey.

“We are committed to maintaining the ability to quickly and independently make decisions that are entirely in the best interests of the four to seven year old children who attend Springfield.

“We have a strong history of working with Chesswood to support the transition between schools.

“We really don’t see a need to change that and think it’s important to offer parents of preschoolers a choice of school environments.”

As well as releasing the no actual video, the school community organized a public sing-along in South Street Square outside HSBC tomorrow at 11.30am.

The Argus: Children and parents protest to save the schoolChildren and parents protest to save the school (Image: Save Springfield)

A council spokesman said: “We are supporting all primary schools in Worthing and Durrington with proposals to cut 900 of the current 1,500 vacancies.

“The proposal to combine Springfield Infant School, Lyndhurst Infant School and Chesswood Junior School into one continuous primary school would reduce 330 of those vacancies.

“It would also create 20 new places for children with special educational needs and disabilities at both sites, from the current eight to 28 to meet a growing need.

“By creating a school under one governing body, the same high academic expectations would be set for every child in all years.

“This will also ensure that families of children attending the Springfield site will automatically be granted a place at the Chesswood site when they enter 3rd grade, which is not guaranteed if Springfield remains a standalone preschool.

“Under this plan, the Springfield site would continue to host 60 students each year as it currently does, meaning no significant changes to instruction are expected.

“All of our proposals have been drawn up after lengthy discussions with all Heads of School and have the support of the governing bodies at Lyndhurst and Chesswood.”

A consultation on the proposals ends on January 20.

Those wishing to participate can do so via yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/worthing-primary-provision-review.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23205114.springfield-infant-school-worthing-childrens-love-actually-video/?ref=rss Springfield Infant School, Worthing: Children’s Video “Love Actually”

Fry Electronics Team

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