Schools merger proposed

FORMAL steps to join Chantry infants and juniors into a single primary school are set to begin next week.Suffolk County Council's executive committee is expected to approve the closure of the two schools and the opening of a new primary on the same site in September 2005.

FORMAL steps to join Chantry infants and juniors into a single primary school are set to begin next week.

Suffolk County Council's executive committee is expected to approve the closure of the two schools and the opening of a new primary on the same site in September 2005.

A report for the committee reveals that surveys of parents and staff has shown clear support for the move.

Chantry junior is currently in special measures after an Ofsted report in September identified significant weaknesses.


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It suffered further disruption when headteacher George Stevens resigned at Christmas.

By contrast Ofsted inspectors said the infants - which shares the same site - was a successful school with significant strengths.

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The county executive will consider whether to allow the infants to "takeover" the junior school - a move which could be complete by September this year.

However a report compiled by officers says this could mean the process is too rushed and building alterations could not be completed on time.

A full amalgamation to be completed a year later would be the better option, it concludes.

Merging the administration of the schools could save them £45,000 a year - and the county council itself £40,000 a year - which could be spent on updating buildings.

Over the last 15 years many infant and junior schools in Ipswich have been amalgamated into single primary schools - in September this year Sprites Primary School will replace the existing infants and juniors on the same site.

The new Chantry school would have 420 places catering for children aged between five and 11 and a further 52 part-time nursery places.

nDo you think Chantry infants and juniors should be merged? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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