Stafford school rises up from the ground

By Charlotte Callear | Stafford | Education | Published:

One of the West Midlands’ smallest schools, which faced the threat of closure two years ago, but has officially become a full primary school as it opened its doors to its first ever Year 6 students. earlier this week.

George Denney, Oliver Walker-Jones, Lewis Kirkland, Abigail Williams and Lilly Busby, all aged 10

Stafford Councillor Jonathan Price has praised All Saints School at Ranton, near Stafford, which only 14 children attended a couple of years ago and now caters for boasts more than 60 pupils.

He said: “I am extremely proud. My son goes to the school and he has a superb education. He is autistic and needs to be in a stable environment so if it closed, it would have been very challenging.

“It is the hard work and resilience of the head teacher at the end of the day, along with the staff and governors that have made the school what it is today. We can’t forget the support of the county council as well who helped them to expand to a primary school from an infant school”

Due to the small number of students, it was close to being shut down but staff and governors embarked on a Facebook campaign to recruit more pupils and keep it open, which was helped by Staffordshire County Council who funded the £138,000 new classroom which was completed over the summer.

Headteacher, Mr Adrian Dipple, started working there in September 2015 on a 12-month contract and was determined to build it up from the ground.

He said: “We were either going to close that year or we were going to grow and of course we were going to do something about it.

“I have always worked in schools which faced challenges. This was just a great challenge.

“It was a really fantastic effort, the community and governors got behind it and parents, especially in time of cutbacks. We’re really grateful to the council for funding the new building.

“Rather than wondering whether we’ll be here, we can look forward to the year ahead.”

An opening ceremony to celebrate their success was held last Tuesday which was attended by the Bishop of Stafford Geoff Annas and various councillors, including Mr Price, Ray Sutherland, Mark Winnington, Andrew Marsden and county improvement manager Russ Sheldon.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office


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