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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Manifestly a Happy School

This is another extract from the letter written to DCC by an ex-headteacher.

I understand that managing long-term issues like falling rolls is extremely difficult given short-term needs to balance annual budgets, but I would ask you to consider a long-term need which is of growing concern in the world of education and which will need to be addressed - namely, the happiness of children.

Any parent or teacher knows that children who are happy learn better than if they are distressed. Please therefore consider carefully not only the huge degree of distress that would be caused to the parents, children and community of Combs by the closure of its vigorously supported Infant School but the fact that it is manifestly a happy school.

In future years, given an unacceptable degree of unhappiness in the nation's school children, educational planners and teachers are going to have to give more thought to what makes children happy. Here at Combs you have a manifestly happy school, indeed the 'flagship' school that one of the parents mentioned. In many ways it could be the model for future infant schools and thought should be given to the notion that were Chapel Primary School smaller, it might well be better.

Balancing the books (and it's not as if a great deal of money is at stake here at Combs) is surely of less importance than the preservation of a school which has the secret of making children happy and wanting to learn. As Ofsted noted, it is a conspicuously successful school and you run the risk, by closing it, of replacing happiness - a rare thing in education - with unhappiness.

Can you really believe that you have picked the right school to close as you search for solutions to falling rolls (generally speaking) in the county?
Just a reminder: if you haven't already told DCC what you think about their plan to close an excellent school, write to them before they meet in October to decide the school's fate. Get involved: find out who to write to.

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