Titchfield headteacher urges parents to think about his school after low number of applications

Headteacher Mike Bainbridge with pupils (l-r) Ellen Jeffrey and Ella-Poppy Bryant on the climbing wall. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (141966-4660)
Headteacher Mike Bainbridge with pupils (l-r) Ellen Jeffrey and Ella-Poppy Bryant on the climbing wall. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (141966-4660)
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HEADTEACHER Michael Bainbridge is urging parents to consider his school after the lowest amount of pupils applied for places in more than a decade.

Mr Bainbridge has been headteacher at Titchfield Primary School, in Southampton Road, Titchfield for eight years and said he is worried by the low number of children applying to start in September.

Mr Bainbridge said: ‘We need another five children to fill our Year R. Without them it makes managing our budget more challenging.’

The school achieved a good Ofsted, across all measures, at its last inspection in September and has recently spent £500,000 building an extension.

Mr Bainbridge said: ‘We had an excellent Ofsted report and the new extension means we have superb facilities. A small school like Titchfield can easily be overlooked, but everyone at the school has worked really hard to make it what it is today — an excellent school.’

There are around 200 pupils at the school, making it smaller than average, and it employs 25 staff, 11 of whom are teachers.

Mr Bainbridge said that no jobs were under threat if the school did not meet its target, but that it could set a downward trend. He added that it was the lowest number of applications in more than 10 years.

He said: ‘We have achieved so much in the past eight years. We have new classrooms and superb outdoor facilities. To keep it to this standard needs to be driven by pupil numbers.

‘I want as many children as possible to come to us. If parents are considering schools in their immediate area, then I’d encourage them to look a little bit further and consider us.’ Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education, said nothing had changed in terms of Titchfield Primary School’s catchment area or the administration of places.

He said: ‘The simple answer is there are fewer applications from Titchfield this year.

‘From our analysis of the admissions data, there are fewer four-year-olds living in the catchment in 2014 and there has been a corresponding drop in the number of applications.’

Mr Bainbridge said he would like to show prospective parents and children around so to arrange a time, please call 01329 843322.