There were 68 children at Stansted in September 2012, and 58 the following year, so the trend is very clear. I have counselled several parents since the school started going downhill from at least as long ago as 2011, and concerns have been expressed about KCC’s commitment to make the school work, considering the small numbers in the school, as children were removed. OFSTED Reports don’t support this concern however, the most recent one suggesting the school was unwisely resistant to advice, surely the last straw.
Unfortunately, there are very few places in other local schools apart from West Kingsdown (just out of Special Measures) and Shoreham (still in Special Measures). Vigo and Culverstone used to have vacancies, but both are now full in most years because of the pressure of numbers across the whole of Gravesham. Sadly, the shortage places in the local area will only be exacerbated by the closure of Stansted but, in a relatively prosperous area, most parents have already been fortunate to be able to exercise other options, with private schools one of the boltholes. Others with their own transport have looked further afield, so that just 6 of the 34 are from the village itself. However, these options should not be relied on and a proper local plan needs to be drawn up to ensure sufficient appropriate local places to cater for children of the village now and in the future.