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St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School: From closure threat to top of the class

By Marion Brennan | South Staffordshire | Education | Published:

Schoolchildren and staff are celebrating an incredible turnaround, after their school battled its way from near closure to being named one of the country's best.

Celebrating the school’s success were headteacher Jayne Keegan-Hobbs, with pupils Lily Morgan and Calum Cullis-Owen

St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, in Wombourne, was nearly shut down for good in 2005 when low pupil numbers promoted a viability review.

After headcount reached an all time low of 49 in 2008, questions were asked again about keeping the school open, and fearful teachers and staff worked tirelessly to turn things around.

And their hard work paid off, as latest SAT results show the primary school, with 97 pupils currently, is ranked top of the league in Staffordshire, and 17th nationally for overall progress and attainment.

Headteacher Jayne Keegan-Hobbs said she was "delighted" with the school's achievements.

Mrs Keegan-Hobbs said: “We are extremely lucky that both the Diocese and the local authority recognised all those years ago the potential that St Bernadette’s had.

Headteacher Jayne Keegan-Hobbs is joined by pupils, left to right, Bobby Wright, 10, Georgia Blunt, 11, Jay Lammas, 11, Ellie Clews, 9, and Jesse Painter, 9, at St Bernadettes's Primary School

"The headteacher at the time Mike Brown and the governors worked so hard in 2005 to keep the school open and just look at us now.

"I am delighted with how hard the staff and children work which has led to our continually improving achievement in all the classes.

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"We are a growing school but still feel that our size means that all children are known and loved by all staff - we all work together as our St Bernadette’s team."

In 2012 the school was given permission to build two new classrooms to increase their student numbers, and now most classes are oversubscribed.

The school's most recent Ofsted rating came back as 'good' and with the comment that is was 'able and totally driven to become the best that it can be.'

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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