203Families in South Stanley are being asked for their views on proposed changes to their local infant and junior schools.

Durham County Council is consulting on proposals to change the age range of South Stanley Junior School – from 7-11 to 3-11 – and to close South Stanley Infant School from 31 December 2016.

The changes would result in a single primary school, from 1 January 2017, which would continue to operate from both existing school sites, which are close to one another on Tyne Road, South Stanley.

As part of the consultation, parents, staff, governors, councillors, community groups and neighbouring schools are invited to comment on the proposals so that their views can be taken into account.

Caroline O’Neill, head of education at Durham County Council, said: “We believe that creating a single primary school would bring a number of benefits for children and families.

“These include the removal of the need to apply for a school place at the end of Year 2 and avoid the potential disruption in education that changing to a new school can cause.

“The changes would also, if they go ahead, result in a larger, more sustainable school.

“Both schools were rated as good by Ofsted following their last inspections so all pupils would continue to benefit from a good education should the proposals go ahead.

“Before any decisions are made we are consulting with those who would be affected so that we can understand their views.”

The consultation will run until Friday 27 May. People can find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/consultation