CHAWTON Primary School has beaten budget cuts by reducing six classrooms down to five, which will allow it to take on more pupils.

Headteacher Dawn Tilley said downsizing will enable it to provide better teaching, especially when training pupils for careers in the digital workplace.

East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds gave his seal of approval to works that took place during the summer holidays when he visited the school at the beginning of the autumn term, telling Ms Tilley: “You and your staff are doing an excellent job.”

Downsizing was necessary, Ms Tilley explained, because the school could only take 20 new pupils each year. She said: “We were ending up with 20 pupils in six classes,, which may sound wonderful but actually put pressure on us and affected the quality of education we could offer.”

The school has reduced the number of classes to five, with four taking 30 pupils and a reception class for 20 and allowing pupil numbers to increase from 120 to 140.

As a result, there is now room to take on siblings of existing pupils, so they don’t have to go to different schools, along with new children moving into the catchment area.

Reducing the number of classrooms also means one less member of staff is needed, cutting the wage bill, but the school was not forced to make any redundancies as one teacher left at the end of the summer term.