Chichester school saved from closure joins new academy trust

A new academy trust was officially opened in Chichester last week, ensuring the future of one of the city’s infant schools.

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan visited Rumboldswhyke CE Infants’ School on Friday to mark the start of The Bishop Luffa Learning Partnership.

It was announced in June that Rumboldswhyke had been saved from closure after the Department for Education said it would back plans to academise with Bishop Luffa as its sponsor.

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Parents and campaigners at Rumboldswhyke have spent most of the last year rallying support for their cause, and Mrs Keegan has been involved since the start of the consultation process.

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan at the opening of The Bishop Luffa Learning Partnership at Rumboldswhyke CE Infants’ School, with year two pupils and Bishop Luffa School captains Ethan Storey and Freya Jones

Mrs Keegan said: “I’m delighted to be able to reopen Rumboldswhyke after a long campaign to keep this wonderful school open.

“The whole community worked together to find a solution and I am personally very grateful to all the parents, teachers and the wider community for their support.

“I particularly want to thank Bishop Luffa School for stepping in to sponsor the academisation of the school and my colleagues at the Department for Education for listening to local voices.

“Our small schools sit at the heart of their communities and the recent chapter in Rumboldswhyke’s proud history, having been established since 1884, is testament to that – I wish all the current pupils and those to come the very best in what I am sure will be a bright future.”

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan at the opening of The Bishop Luffa Learning Partnership at Rumboldswhyke CE Infants’ School, with year two pupils, Bishop Luffa School captains Ethan Storey and Freya Jones, and Bishop Luffa head teacher and trust chief executive Austin Hindman

Year two pupils from Rumboldswhyke and year 13 students from Bishop Luffa School helped Mrs Keegan reopen the school.

Austen Hindman, head teacher of Bishop Luffa School, said: “The partnership is about bringing students and staff together.

The year twos loved seeing the older students, and our school captains, Ethan Storey and Freya Jones, were talking afterwards about how much fun it was working with six-year-olds.

“We all have a lot to learn from each other.”

Mr Hindman will be the chief executive of the new venture.

He said: “The aim of the Learning Partnership is to provide support for church primary schools in our community.

“A big school like ours can provide resources that aren’t affordable to small primary schools.

“We want primary head teachers to be concentrating on the learning going on in their schools, and not having to worry about the budget or infrastructure.

“We hope that families at Rumboldswhyke will see very quickly the advantages of partnership.”


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