Fairfield schools in merger talks
Published at 11:55, Friday, 16 November 2012
PLANS are in the pipeline to merge Cockermouth’s Fairfield Infant and Fairfield Junior schools.
The merger will create a new Fairfield Primary School with an age range of three to 11 and a single headteacher.
A consultation with parents, staff and pupils, which started on November 5, has so far produced positive comments.
The consultation will end on December 14 while a meeting with parents is planned on Tuesday, and with pupils on November 27.
The county council cabinet will consider feedback from these meetings and any response made by its local committee for Allerdale, which meets today, before deciding on the next steps at a meeting on February 7.
The headteachers of both schools, Andrea Pattinson from the infant school and Alex Wilkinson from the junior site, approached the county council to discuss a possible amalgamation from September 2013. Governors of both schools have also supported the proposals.
A major benefit would be the chance for pupils to stay at the school through their whole primary education, as children at present enrolled at the infant school are not guaranteed junior places.
A single school would only receive one lump sum for its budget but this would be offset by reduced headteacher costs.
There are now 147 children on the Fairfield Infant school roll, with 225 at the junior school. The new school would provide 60 places per year group and currently both schools have those places available.
The infant school was recently rated “outstanding” by Ofsted while the junior school was rated “good with many outstanding features”.
The infant school would become the new primary school but both buildings would still be used.
Mrs Pattinson said: “There will be the opportunity to work together to share resources and expertise.
“We are looking forward to hearing the views of the community. The views of the pupils are highly important as this will affect them.
Mr Wilkinson said: “There will be a lot of educational advantages and the staff will be able to work more closely together.
“We will be able to track pupils’ progress and achievement through the school.”
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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