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Merger of College Town schools gets go ahead

The amalgamation of College Town Infant and Junior schools was approved on Friday (16 February) after more than 70% of respondents agreed with the plan to join the 2 schools to benefit pupils’ education.

The council’s executive member for children, young people and learning, Cllr Gareth Barnard, agreed plans to create one primary school after carefully examining feedback from 2 consultations.

The initial consultation saw 74% of respondents (including parents and governors) agree to the amalgamation and the second formal consultation saw 71% of people agree that College Town Infant School should be extended to become an all-through primary school.

The benefits of joining the schools to provide education for 3 to 11 year olds in one place, include:

  • enabling better continuity of education and progression for pupils – specifically children moving from Year 2 to Year 3
  • providing more stability for pupils and avoiding the need for children to change schools at a young age
  • enhancing the safeguarding needs of all pupils
  • providing the chance to achieve higher educational outcomes
  • providing better opportunities to develop the curriculum
  • better use of teachers and non-teaching staff and increasing the range, experience and expertise of staff
  • better enabling the recruitment and retention of staff, including the headteacher
  • providing better value for money by cutting duplication of resources and staff.

The schools will continue to function separately until the new all-though school is ready – it is anticipated that it will be up and running from September 2018. Staff and parents will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the new school at regular intervals.

Cllr Gareth Barnard, executive member for children, young people and learning, said:

“I looked carefully at all the comments submitted as part of the consultation on the plans and agree with the majority of views that having one school for all primary years is the best option for children, parents and school staff.

“The majority of schools in Bracknell Forest are primary schools and so the new amalgamated school in College Town will follow the same successful model.

“It makes sense to have primary school aged children educated in one place as it has real benefits for the children and their attainment and education as well as reducing costs and retaining good staff.”

The name for the new school will be announced over the coming months alongside other information on staffing, uniforms, building work, the school’s governors and admissions details.