MP joins St Lawrence School celebration
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert attended a blessing of new buildings at St Lawrence CE School in Hurstpierpoint by the Bishop of Chichester on Thursday (4 June).
The morning of celebrations brought together the whole school with governors, local councillors and members of the local community.
The school’s expansion began five years ago when Nick Herbert urged the school and County Council to provide additional space to meet local demand. At the time a number of children from the village could not get a place at the school which has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
The school was built in 1868 and over the last two decades has added 15 new classrooms to meet growing local demand.
In 2013 the school increased from a two form entry to a three form entry, expanding the school from 420 places to 630 places.
St Lawrence now has new classrooms, offices, a hall and a library. Headteacher Paul Dyer opened the assembly in the new school by thanking everyone involved in the building work.
Mr Dyer spoke with pride about how the school, which became an Academy two years ago, has grown and become stronger.
The Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner led prayers before performing the official blessing. Nick Herbert then addressed the assembly which ended with the whole school singing a song.
Nick Herbert said: “I am delighted to have been invited to this special celebration, and pleased that the expansion of this excellent school has been such a success.
“It’s important that children are able to attend their local school, and as our communities change with young families moving in and new housing being built, the demand is increasing.
“We are facing these issues once again in Hassocks, where I am concerned that there are not enough spaces for a significant number of children to attend the Infant School this autumn, despite its recent expansion.”
Mr Herbert met local parents in Hassocks recently to hear about the problem and last week visited the Infants School to see the new buildings and discuss the issues with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors. He is due to meet West Sussex County Council to raise his concerns shortly.
1. Photograph 1 attached – (back L-R) Emma Dickason, Deputy Headteacher, Cllr Peter Griffiths, Nick Herbert, Paul Dyer, Headteacher, Tim Moulds, Chair of Governors, Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, Chris Grose, Governor.
2. For more information about St Lawrence School see http://www.st-lawrence.w-sussex.sch.uk/.
3. To read Nick’s West Sussex County Times article from last week see http://www.nickherbert.com/media_centre.php/756/education.