School quashes closure rumours

Royston school forced to issue statement

Roysia School in Burns Road, which celebrates 35 years this year, was believed by some parents with children at the school to be under threat of closure, leading to Hertfordshire County Council releasing a statement ensuring it was safe.

However, the council did admit that plans to federate the three schools – Roysia, Greneway, and Meridian – may well go ahead, meaning teachers could be shared among them.

The council statement read: “We would like to reassure parents that rumours circulating about the closure of Roysia School are not true.

“There are currently no plans to close any of the schools in Royston. We will continue to explore the possibility of federating the schools, along with a range of other opportunities to further enhance education in Royston, over the coming year.”

Chairman of governors at Roysia School David Brynjolffssen concurred with the statement, but acknowledged that there were problems which might lead to sharing teachers in the future.

My Brynjolffssen said: “There are not many children in the area. The numbers have dropped in the past few years.

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“Royston parents may not realise it, but their children are some of the luckiest in the county, as pretty much every school in the town has got places.

“The financial situation is not good. For example, we recently lost our art teacher, and cannot justify appointing a full time one.

“However, an art teacher could be appointed into a federation of Royston’s three schools, and could be shared.

“This could happen as early as next year, but it’s still being discussed.”

Mr Brynjolffssen did not know where the rumours of closure had come from, but said he thought the school was in a good position.

“I suppose because Roysia is the smallest, people think that it will be the one that goes,” he said.

“That will not be the case, for two good reasons. First, we have just achieved a hat-trick of good school ratings from Ofsted, which puts us in a good position in that sense.

“The other reason is that the Local Education Authority have a tradition of supporting small schools, particularly in the villages, because of the social consequences of closing them, and much the same applies to Roysia.”

Royston Town Mayor Martin Beaver is a strong supporter of Roysia, which was attended by his wife and children.

He said: “I would like to know where these rumours have come from, and why they have come about.

“I applaud the squashing of the rumours as quickly as possible, because we don’t want parents to feel that the school will be shut in a month’s time.

“As whispers do, its got out into the mainstream, and a comment has now circulated as a fear.”