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Farnham Trust Wins the War Over Ripley Primary School

Published on: 8 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 9 Jul, 2020

Children who were about to restart there schooling at Ripley this morning.

The battle of Ripley primary school is over, the Diocese has surrendered and the school has opened temporarily, the children cheering each arrival this morning (July 8).

The Department of Education said the school operation does not contravene their guidelines and the South Farnham Education Trust, who run the Raleigh School, wanted children in there to maintain the rules of social distancing.

The Diocese wanted the school to re-open as a Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) facility, threatening legal action if Raleigh children moved in for three weeks.

Trust spokespeople said there is plenty of room on the site for a SEND facility, the pre-school which remains open and the primary school to exist together and serve the community.

The Friends issued a statement saying: “Community facilities can also open for the provision of other services for children and young people.

“These should ensure people from different households can socially distance from anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble, and should not facilitate indoor sports or fitness activity.”

The Friends said the only question that still remains unanswered is why the Diocese worked so hard to meddle in the management of a school they don’t run on a site they don’t own?

Cllr Julie Iles

Local county councillor Julie Iles (Con, The Horsleys) said: “The Friends of Ripley have worked tirelessly to make the school building available to Year Five pupils from The Raleigh. I’m really pleased these children are able to benefit from being back in school, with their friends, for the last part of this term.

“It hasn’t been easy for parents, or children, to be at home since lockdown and this will go a long way to help their health and wellbeing and get their learning back on track.”

Cllr Colin Cross

Borough councillor Colin Cross (R4GV, Lovelace) added: “I’m hugely relieved this story finally has the happy ending it deserved, after so long seeming the desperately needed classrooms would remain empty.

“The intransigence and unChristian attitude that has prevailed within Guildford Diocese sadly still exists and they still oppose this reuse of the Ripley School.

“It is hard to imagine their reasoning at this time of national emergency. When the local community is pulling together, why try to drive us apart in the name of religion?”

See also: Bishop Threatens Legal Action Over Plan to Use Closed Ripley School During Pandemic and Diocese’s Statement on Ripley School is Misleading

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