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Headteacher pays tribute to 'wonderful' Hornchurch primary school closing after 84 years

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 July 2019

Goodrington school in Hornchurch is closing on Wednesday, July 10. Picture: Steve Poston

Goodrington school in Hornchurch is closing on Wednesday, July 10. Picture: Steve Poston

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A Hornchurch primary school that is closing this week could be replaced with housing.

Headteacher Rosalind Ellenby paid tribute to the 'wonderful' Goodrington School in Hornchurch which is closing this week. Picture: Steve PostonHeadteacher Rosalind Ellenby paid tribute to the 'wonderful' Goodrington School in Hornchurch which is closing this week. Picture: Steve Poston

Goodrington School in Walden Road opened in the 1930s and has always seen itself as one of the smallest schools in the borough.

The nursery and primary school, which was privately owned by the Lauchlan family, will be closing on Wednesday, July 10.

Rosalind Ellenby has been headteacher at the school for 16 years and will now be semi-retiring.

She told the Recorder: "It comes with great sadness that we mark the end of 84 years of Goodrington School.

"We have achieved so much at Goodrington and it's not just in referring to the current pupils and staff, but it includes all who have attended the school before.

"A strong family feel and superb pastoral care has not been an excuse for a more fuzzy approach to teaching at Goodrington.

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"It has not been about making grand proclamations which have come to nothing or trying to make this class into something which it isn't.

"We're proud to have a school which has always offered a better education focusing on the whole individual."

Goodrington has experienced falling pupil numbers over the past five years as competition in the area has increased from other independent schools, state schools and new nurseries.

The cost of repairing and maintaining the historical property has also proved to be a difficult factor in keeping the school open.

A planning application has already been submitted for the demolition of the school and the building of four detached bungalows on its site.

According to the planning documents, the development will provide "high quality residential accommodation" with good links to Emerson park train station.

Mrs Ellenby added: "Every one of the pupils has found something they're good at and the school has endeavoured to help them with that.

"So now as the school becomes future housing, all will hold close their fond memories of the present and past of what has been the most wonderful, wonderful school."

Havering Council is set to make a decision about the housing application by July 23.

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