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New start for St Mary's CE Primary School
THE county’s smallest independent school opened its doors this week marking the latest stage of a long, drawn-out battle to survive.
It was an emotional first day of term for the parents, pupils and teachers who fought hard to keep Dilywn’s tiny primary school open.
On Tuesday the doors swung open on the rebranded St Mary’s Church of England Primary School and 18 students sat down for lessons.
“There have certainly been ups and downs, but I think we need to put what happened behind us,” said senior teacher Jane Clarke, one of six volunteers who have agreed to teach at St Mary’s without pay.
“We need to show what we can do and be positive about the future. Now it is time to prove ourselves and, I think, we can do it thanks to the outstanding community support.”
Aside from campaigning to keep the school open, parents worked day and night to redecorate the classrooms and fit brand new IT equipment which has been purchased with donations.
Louise Lewis, whose daughters Olivia, seven, Poppy, six, and Molly, five, attend Dilwyn school, said: “I live in the village and not only have I got three girls here but I’ve got a fourth who we also want to come here.
“I know it’s hard for people.
Parents don’t want to send their children to a school where the future is so uncertain.
“But it’s unique in the way children of all ages can mix and play together. The girls love coming to school and they do really well here.”
As previously reported, supporters were shocked to discover last month that the school had failed to secure Academy status.
They blamed Herefordshire Council – which set in motion plans to close the school last December after claiming it was too expensive to run – for making it “impossible” for the Government to sign off the necessasry funding.
At an emergency meeting, trustees and governors decided to open the school as a non-fee paying independent.