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Beck Row Primary School will stay open after academy trust shelves plans to merge it with one in Mildenhall

Plans to close Beck Row’s primary school have been shelved after mounting pressure from parents, councillors and the village’s MP.

Leaked slides released earlier in the month revealed plans to merge Beck Row Primary Academy with Great Heath Primary – enabling land at the Beck Row school to be sold off for housing.

The proposals saw parents, school governors, and councillors condemn the move.

Beck Row Primary Academy is part of the Academy Transformation Trust (13955421)
Beck Row Primary Academy is part of the Academy Transformation Trust (13955421)

And West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said he was ‘completely opposed to the wrong-headed proposal’ and demanded the plans were halted.

On Tuesday, the Academy Transformation Trust, which runs both schools, buckled to pressure and announced the plans had been shelved.

Claire Pritchard, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “The proposed project has been withdrawn. We received some valuable feedback from the community which led into this consideration. We feel this is the sensible decision.”

Hundreds of villagers had signed a petition to save the school and Sarah Mower, who started it, said: “On behalf of the parents and local community I would like say we are relieved and pleased that the right decision has been made, and thank everyone that took the time to support the school and the staffing team there.”

And today Mr Hancock praised the reversal.

"The idea to close Beck Row school has now been stopped, shelved. It will not happen. The response of the whole village to say 'why on earth should we be closing a school that is full and that is going great and that is much loved Why should it close?" he said.

"Well I agree very strongly. And we all came together. And very quickly the trust that runs the school, and Great Heath Academy in Mildenhall, have said they will keep it open permanently, and that this idea has been stopped.

"A great result - very swiftly done. Now lets make sure that everybody in Beck Row has a great education."