203Plans to merge three schools into a single primary school run from two existing sites will be discussed by councillors.

Durham County Council is proposing to amalgamate Trimdon Grange Infant and Nursery School, Trimdon Village Community Infant School and Trimdon Junior School to form a single primary school across two sites.

The proposed new single primary school would serve pupils aged between three and 11 and would be based at the existing sites of Trimdon Grange Infant and Nursery School and Trimdon Junior School.

Cabinet members will be asked to agree the proposal at a meeting on 16 March along with plans to merge Crook Primary School and Crook Nursery School.

The proposals come following talks with chairs of governors and head teachers of all the schools involved as well as public consultation and information sharing meetings for parents, pupils and the local communities.

The council says the changes would have a number of benefits for children, parents and staff, including:

  • Continuity of and progress of learning between the ages of three and 11
  • Unified leadership and management of the curriculum, teaching and learning and social development
  • Access to a curriculum planned and assessed across the full primary range
  • Increased opportunities for the professional development of staff enhancing the outcomes for children
  • School inspectors will be able to make more accurate judgements about the education children receive in a single school rather than across separate schools

 

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We believe these proposals are in the best interests of pupils and their families.

“In Trimdon, two of the schools have fewer than 75 pupils on roll. If we do nothing about this these schools could become unviable.

“As a council we are faced with changes to the way Government funding is allocated, which is likely to have an increased pressure on small schools in the long term.

“We have carefully considered all feedback and would like to reassure anyone with concerns that by combining the three schools in Trimdon and the two schools in Crook we will be able to safeguard the long-term future of primary school education in both communities

“It is also important to note that no pupils would have to move to other schools as a result of these proposals and travel times would not be affected.

“Merging small schools will give them the chance to be more efficient and provide a larger single cohort of pupils, which in turn provides greater financial stability.”

If agreed by Cabinet, the changes would come into effect from 31 August 2016 and 1 September 2016.