Bleadon Village School

Bleadon School closed in 1964



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Bleadon school closed in 1964. There was a huge outcry in the village even though it was accepted that the premises were too small for a school. The land was sold by the church. Closure had been decided in the 1940's and an offer to 'amalgamate' with Lympsham was eventually turned down. The outcry was not so much about the closure of the school but at the failure to replace it. The school declined but mainly because it was finally condemned with the sale of the land in 1962 and with staff accepting jobs elsewhere and pupils now moving to other schools (with a more assured future) it dwindled to a one teacher school. It limped on for a further 2 years and the church offered to build a new school if it could be proved that there were 100 children to attend. A survey identified 119 children but a survey of parents decided that the offer of a priority at Uphill 'inperpertuity' should be accepted. Uphill school was extended with new classrooms built and the furniture and books relocated at the end of the spring term 1964. The final teacher Mrs Parker moved with her remaining children.

This letter from North Somerset Council dated 2003 clearly sets out NSC's position on Bleadon School Admission Arrangements and ongoing action.

It is on record that Bleadon was a developing village and that a new school would inevitably be required at some point. Has that point has possibly arrived.

According to Paul Arnold, Chairman of the Village School for a Village Child Bleadon Action Group, "North Somerset Council have since April 2003, to his knowledge, denied that the priority existed. No papers were available and the denial became established. Then in April 2004 papers were found that showed that North Somerset knew all about the priority in 1997/98 and that the same officials who were denying knowledge now were the officials that advised Uphill school then that the priority had to be applied. The claim now is that they were mistaken in 1997 although if that was true then why didn't they say that when the matter was raised later on. The newly discovered papers also show that any changes to that priority could only follow proper consultation with those affected by the change. That would include the people of Bleadon. The papers show that the policy was definately changed around 1998/99 but there is no record of anybody being told/advised/consulted before this happened."

The following article about Bleadon Village School appeard in the Weston Mercury August 2005