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Elliot Primary opening still to be decided

The Government has dragged its feet to determine the fate of a school's Primary 1 class, a worried parent said yesterday.

Teretha Talbot, whose daughter Brialla, 5, was due to join two older siblings at Elliot Primary School, said that she still did not know whether her children would attend the school come September.

She said: “I am very concerned about this.”

Ms Talbot was speaking after a post appeared on social media last week. The advertisement, on the Bermuda Public Schools Facebook page, encouraged parents still in search of a P1 spot for their five-year-old child for September to consider the Devonshire school.

It read: “Elliot Primary School may be the place for you.”

The post said that interested parents should contact the school to arrange a tour and that enrolment applications are available on the Ministry of Education's website.

A Government spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that a decision had not yet been made about whether the class would be offered next term. She said that the education ministry and Department of Education “are working with Elliot to bolster enrolment and is also engaging with parents about options for P1”.

The spokeswoman added: “A decision on the status of the P1 class hasn't yet been made as parent consultation still needs to take place.”

She said that the consultation process would be completed “in due course”.

The spokeswoman added: “It is our intent to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted prior to a final decision being made.”

Ms Talbot said that she did not understand why the school would be advertising to parents of P1 pupils when the future of the class was unclear.

She added: “For them to post the ad they had on Facebook about enrolling more children at the school — it's confusing.”

Ms Talbot said that she also did not understand the Government's statement about consultation with parents.

She added: “They've been having meetings all this time.”

Ms Talbot said that safety concerns for Brialla would mean moving her other children Chanse, 6, and Charm, 9, from the school if their sister could not also attend. She was earlier warned in a letter that the P1 class at the school could be axed because only four children had enrolled.

The letter, from Valerie Robinson-James, the education ministry's permanent secretary, said that it was the “provisional view” of Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, that the class be cut.

Potential Elliot parents were offered spots at other schools.

Ms Robinson-James said that Mr Rabain, whose daughter attends the school, would consult parents who decided not to accept alternatives before he made a final decision.

The Parent Teacher Student Association at Elliot declined to comment yesterday on questions about the P1 class.

A representative said: “Please contact the Ministry/Department of Education as they are the appropriate channel to address these questions.”

Teretha Shade Talbot and Brialla Talbot, 5, outside Elliot Primary School (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 19, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated June 19, 2019 at 7:29 am)

Elliot Primary opening still to be decided

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