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Unless a solution can be plucked out of the air by 8th June, Ripley School will close on 31st August 2018. This article from  Colin Cross was in Issue 102 of the Magazine.

Richard Ayears and I took this up on behalf of our respective councils (Ripley and Guildford) some weeks back. We joined with a group of concerned parents of pupils and former pupils of the school, namely The Friends of Ripley C of E Primary School.

The recommendation to close the school on 1st Sept was confirmed by Mary Lewis, the SCC cabinet member for education. That now only leaves David Hodge, the SCC Leader, to agree this in 4 weeks time(now only a week or so) for the process to be complete.

There is now only the legal route open to the Friends of Ripley School group, who still wish to oppose this whole charade that the SCC and Guildford Diocese have carefully concocted.The Diocese, apart from their routine involvement at the school, have the power to select or reject (as they have in Ripley’s case) the Multi Academy Trust (MAT) that Ripley must sign up to so as to survive, after their inadequate Ofsted report.

Funds raised to date and partly already spent on initial legal advice are around £4000 and we need probably £6000 to go through the full procedure of examining our case in terms of the Judicial Review process. It maybe that this initial stage of pre-negotiations will result in a settlement, thereby avoiding the need for greater actions and higher costs. If not then the remaining nuclear option is a full Judicial Review for which both parties are obliged to have special counsels and the whole thing is held in private.

The problem attached to all JR cases is that the normal procedure is that the loser not only pays their own costs but also that of the winner. Not fair? I know, but I don’t make the rules ……………

We are raising money slowly and will see how we go over this coming month prior to making any final call on the road we choose.

It goes without saying that this has been a shattering process to all that it has touched, parents, staff, locals but most of all the kids themselves as they can’t understand how this can happen.

In truth it should not happen and it is a truly shameful deceit that has been sprung on Ripley by both the SCC Education and the Diocese. They can never be trusted to do the decent thing again after plotting of the school’s closure.

If you can help by giving a donation, there is a website to go to…..

Justgiving for Friends of Ripley C of E Primary School

or if you want to give a cheque, please contact Jim Morris the Parish Clerk for Ripley. 

Colin Cross

GB Councillor for Lovelace Ward