Decision on town’s primary schooling

PLANS to spend �1.5 million transforming three Worle first schools into fully-fledged primary schools was expected to move a step closer yesterday (Wed).

As the Mercury went to press, North Somerset Council bosses were due to decide on whether to advance with plans to give St Martin’s junior and Mendip Green and Hillside first schools the new status.

The change includes increasing the capacity of St Martin’s from 495 places up to 630, increasing Mendip Green from 480 places up to 630, and reducing places at Hillside from 180 to 140.

The new primary school status means pupils can stay in the same school from reception through to year six.

This means instead of leaving first school in year four and spending two years at a primary school, they will go from primary level straight to secondary school.

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Details on the council’s website said: “The authority is committed to move away from providing infant, first and junior schools and the governing bodies and headteachers of all three schools are committed to making the changes.

“While many concerns have been raised about 630-place primary schools, it is the view of education advisers that with the correct management and support and a personalised approach, they can be as equally successful as other sizes of schools.”

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On March 15 the unitary authority’s executive committee agreed that up to �1.5 million can be allocated to make the necessary changes and this must be spent by next March.

The physical changes to be made at the schools will then be determined based on the ‘need for change within the available budget’.

If the children and young people services policy and scrutiny panel agreed to commence with plans, a statutory process, requiring an informal consultation including meetings with pupils and parents, will take place and the final decision will be made next year by the executive committee.

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