Branton School - since 1781!
Branton Community First School is a small School at the heart of a very rural community from which we have exceptional support!
The Presbyterian Church in Branton was built in 1781 and a school ran in the church with Thomas Duncan listed as schoolmaster in the National Archives in 1828, so there has been a school at Branton from that time. In school we have inspection reports dating back to 1871!
We celebrated the 90th Birthday of our current school building on 24th August 2015, which was built as a County School in 1925.
Threat of closure in 2011-12
Branton Community First School was threatened with closure in 2012 due to the falling number of pupils on roll. This reduction came as a result of the Local Authority instructing the school to cease taking nursery age children a few years previously, as they did not have a maintained nursery. The school had taken three year olds as nursery pupils for many years and these pupils were on the register, which was returned to County. This sudden loss of children impacted on roll numbers and very soon reduced pupils to the point that the Governing Body would no longer be able to set a positive budget. At this time the Local Authority did not allow a school to set a negative budget and so the Governing Body had no option other than to consult on potential closure. The community response was immense and as a result the school remained open.
Breamish Valley Community Nursery
During the consultation process the Governing body was informed, by council staff of the option to adopt Community Powers and open a nursery and were supported in doing a business plan for this type of nursery. After County accepted this the Governors and PTA worked together to form a bid to present to the National Park Authority who accepted the plan and agreed to fund the opening of the nursery for the first two years. This gave the school the opportunity to establish the nursery and develop it to a level where it was self-funding in less than the two-year period.
Breamish Valley Community Nursery opened in 2012 and was officially opened by the Duchess of Northumberland on 27th November 2012.
Branton is growing!
Due to the opening of this Community Powers Nursery the school has grown from 7 on roll with 4 pupils in nursery in 2012-13 to 13 on roll with 12 in nursery by the end of 2014-15. This growth is set to continue over the next few years with projected figures of 21 on roll with a further 9 in nursery by 2016 – 17, making a total of 30 children being educated at Branton. The net capacity for Branton is currently measured at 30 pupils. This is the largest number of pupils that will have been in the school for over 15 years.
Branton Community School!
Branton is a Community school in every sense of the word. It is key to our rural community, offering opportunities for social gatherings such as sharing assemblies and concerts, coffee mornings and charitable fundraising events. Branton children also take an active part in the rural events, entering the local shows at Powburn, Ingram, and Glanton, promoting their heritage within rural North Northumberland. The school embraces the rural way of life and enables pupils to experience farming and agriculture, encouraging some pupils to consider jobs in their rural community in the future, while others have progressed to a wide variety of successful careers still maintaining their links in the rural community. The school also continues to benefit from its strong links with the Northumberland National Park.