Calls for view on schools merger

PARENTS can today speak up and voice their opinions about the future of their children's primary education.

PARENTS can today speak up and voice their opinions about the future of their children's primary education.

A consultation period has started addressing the possibility of merging Whitehouse Infant and Junior schools in Ipswich.

Currently children in the area attend Whitehouse Infant School up to the age of seven before applying to transfer to Whitehouse Junior School, until they are 11.

Since 2007 the two schools have been managed by a single headteacher Liz Gerrie, but the schools are housed in separate buildings.

Plans are already being developed for a new state of the art building to house the amalgamated schools if the proposal is given the go-ahead.

Mrs Gerrie said: “A lot of systems are already in place, we already have joint staff meetings, joint leadership team meetings, the governing bodies are already working together as are the subject leaders.

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“And it is important to mention we can already see improvements as children move through the school.

“Changing schools can have an impact on children.”

Education chiefs at Suffolk County Council have revealed their preferred option for amalgamation.

Allan Cadzow, southern area director for children and young people said: “We've had positive discussions with both governing bodies about moving to a single 4-11 primary school, which is the county council's preferred option.

“However, it is important that everyone involved with the two schools has a say about how primary education is delivered in the future.”

The consultation period is due to end on June 26 and it is expected the county council's Cabinet will make the final decision in the autumn.

Parents, carers, school staff, governors and other local people are being asked for their views.

Two public meetings have been organised for Monday, June 8 at 4pm and 6pm at Whitehouse Junior School.

Appointments can also be made for an individual meeting with senior county council officers at Whitehouse Infant and Junior schools between 5pm and 6.30pm on May, 21 or between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on June 15.

To book, either visit school reception or call Whitehouse Infant school on 01473 741438 or Whitehouse Junior school on 01473 741249.

n. Do you think the merger is a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

Karen Regent said: “I think it is a good idea, I actually think having one school will be better and easier for families who currently have children at both.”

Rezina Sherman said: “I am not worried about a merger, I have older children who went to Handford Hall School, which is one merged primary and I found it was nice for the children to all be together.

“I don't think it will really make much difference for the kids though.”

Trudy Coe said: “I think it is a good idea, our girls are both due to go up to the Junior school in September and they are already starting to take the kids to the Junior school to get them used to it.”

Cheryl Simmonds said: “They have been here as separate schools a long while so it seems a shame to put them together.

“But I don't think it will affect their education at all.”

Ylbere Elezi, whose son is at the Junior school and daughter is at the Infants said: “I don't think it will make much difference. It will be easier having them together.

“My children are both so happy at the schools, the teachers are fantastic and really helpful so I can't see it really having much impact on them.”