It is always sad when a village school is closed due to falling numbers of pupils. 

The first to be closed in this area was at Ridge on Pauncefoot Hill in the 1930s and there has been a spate of closures in the last 70 years.

Now Ampfield School appears to be doomed.

However there is a need for a specialist junior school in this area, and this might well be a good place to locate it. Currently there are no specialist junior schools, state or private, anywhere in this part of Hampshire dedicated to providing for dyslexic pupils.

I know from family experience that helping such pupils at this stage of their education can lead to their benefitting from secondary schooling which is undoubtedly better for them and cheaper in the long run than having to make special provision in their secondary school years as most of them who have had adequate help at junior age will need less specialist support at secondary school, if any.

I cannot be alone in knowing of the desperation of worried parents whose dyslexic children cannot get the help they need at an age when it would do them most good, before they lose any more self-confidence.

Would it be possible to use this existing school, with or without Ampfield children, as a specialist unit for dyslexics of junior age? It would give great relief to many worried families and be of great benefit to the children concerned.

I don’t doubt that the cash strapped county council can find a lot of reasons to say ‘no’, but such a step would save money in the long run and help those affected to live more fulfilling lives, away from the shame of being thought ‘thick’ when they are not. They just cannot read.

Phoebe Merrick,
The Thicket,

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