Campaigners 'ecstatic' as councillors save Hexton JMI

Hexton JMI School could permanently close in July next year.

Hexton JMI school on the outskirts of Hitchin was previously under threat of closure, and would have had to shut its doors in July 2022 - Credit: Google Maps

The close-knit community that surrounds Hexton's 175-year-old junior mixed infants school is celebrating after county councillors unanimously voted in favour of saving the school.

At a meeting yesterday morning, Hertfordshire County Council's Education, Libraries and Lifelong Learning Cabinet panel decided to recommend to cabinet that no further action is taken to proceed with the closure proposal.

In response to the decision on the school's fate, Save Hexton JMI campaign spokesperson Antony Wallace told this paper: "We are ecstatic that the councillors on the education panel voted to no take no further action on the proposal to close Hexton school.

"The hard work that has been put in by the governing body, the parents and the residents to demonstrate the passion for the school were acknowledged by the councillors and we can now move forward with our plans to continue to grow the school. We look forward to welcoming more children to Hexton school next September and for many years into the future!"

Cllr David Barnard, who represents Hitchin Rural, commended Hexton for its fight to stay open.

"Congratulations,"  he wrote on Facebook. "The governors, parents, and teachers are magnificent.

"The county council voted unanimously to keep the school open, into the distant future, because it is so very good in every respect. Prospective parents please note that the top education experts were enthusiastic about Hexton.

"Give your children the opportunity to benefit from its skills and passion!"

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Hexton JMI's chair of governors Mark Hall echoed the above sentiments, and said that "words can't describe how happy we are with the outcome.

Our village school is a fantastic, nurturing environment and to hear many of the councillors talking so warmly and enthusiastically about it is a great turnaround.

"It just goes to show, if you visit our school you will fall in love with it! We are grateful for the belief the council have shown in us; getting their backing means we can move forward with confidence - with our current pupils and with those we hope to be welcoming very soon."