The Small School September 2016

The hard work put in over the past 12 months by both students and teachers at the Small School has brought us an amazing 100% A* to C pass rate in this year’s GCSE exams! This incredible achievement builds on our 84% A* to C grade passes in 2015 and comes in a year when the national average for students obtaining 5 or more passes at grade C and above has actually dropped. We are immensely proud of our students and hope they will stay in touch to share their future successes with us.
Exams were sat in 13 subjects with results greatly exceeding the national average pass rates:

  The Small School National Average
Proportion of A* grades 30.4% (up 9.9%) 6.5% (down 0.1%)
Proportion of A* & A grades 65.2% (up 21.9%) 20.5% (down 0.7%)
Proportion of A* to C grades 100%  (up 15.4%) 66.9 % (down 2.1%)

These results are particularly rewarding as they come just a year after our disappointing report from Ofsted and after a lot of hard work has gone in to bringing the school into line with the standards they expect to see. It is gratifying to be able to prove that our established ethos of holistic and personalised learning still works, even within the current climate of tighter regulation and growing constraints.

So it is with huge sadness that the decision has been taken to close the school at the end of the 2016-17 school year. For the past 5 years it has cost more to run the school than we have been able to fundraise and our financial reserves have been dwindling year on year. Our lovely old building is expensive to maintain, wages have risen significantly and parents are less and less able to commit their time to helping with the running of the school. Faced with falling student numbers, a building needing a huge amount of repair work and very little cash left in the bank, the School’s trustees have decided to devote what funds we have left to fulfil our obligations to our current GCSE students and allow them to complete their secondary education.

But we hope to go out with a bang rather than a whimper. We’ll be striving to make next year our hat-trick of GCSE successes but would very much like to celebrate the full 35 years of the Small School’s history, not just the more recent past. So we’ve ear-marked Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July 2017 for a sort of “Festival of Smallness”. We’d like students, parents, guardians, anyone with an involvement with The Small School since its founding in 1982, to be part of this and hope to put on a full celebratory programme of exhibitions, films, music, and of course plenty of food. Planning for this will start in the new year and if anyone has any ideas or memories they’d like to share with us they can get in touch by emailing us.

Lastly, the legal documents governing the running of the school mean that once the school finally closes its doors the charity must be wound up and the buildings sold. The money raised from the sale must go to the shareholders who invested their money when the buildings and land were originally bought. If there are any funds left in the school account after all our final bills have been paid they will, in accordance with the wording of our governing document, be given to a charity with a similar ethos to that of The Small School. That could be a new Hartland-based project or it might be an established charity elsewhere. We’ll give full consideration to all suggestions.
With huge thanks to all our supporters, past and present.

The Trustees of The Small School.