Proposal to Reorganise Infant & Junior Schools in the Bilton Area & Enlarge the Permanent Capacity of those Schools

Introduction 

This is to advise you of proposals concerning Bilton Infant, Bawnmore Infant, and Bilton CofE Junior School and to invite you to tell us what you think of the proposals.  This is part of a statutory consultation process that Warwickshire County Council is managing in partnership with the Governing Bodies.  There are two proposals:

1)    The Governing Bodies have formally agreed to consult on realigning the status of the Infant and Junior Schools to create 3 all through primary schools.  This would be implemented through increasing the upper age limit of the Infant Schools from 7 to 11 years old and reducing the lower age limit of the junior school from 7 to 4.

2)    The second part of the proposals is for the permanent capacity of the newly aligned schools to increase, see below:

 

School Name Current Schools Capacity – Infant/Junior Proposed Primary Schools Capacity
Infant
Places
Junior Places Total
Places
Scenario 1 Scenario 2
Bawnmore Infant 180 0 180 420 420
Bilton Infant 180 0 180 210 420
Bilton CofE Junior  0 420 420 420 420
Total 360 420 780 1050 1260

 

Why Change?

The Governing Bodies of the schools have been looking into the possibility of change for some time and formally agreed to consult in July 2015.  The Strategic Planning Team reviewed options for the future development of the schools and the decision was taken to start consultation on a formal basis. An all-through primary school is considered to provide the best organisational arrangement for the sites and maximises the curriculum, financial and leadership opportunities for the schools.   One primary school would provide continuity of teaching and learning, which helps to ensure high standards.  One management structure provides a single vision and set of values for the pupils from age 4 to 11.

The proposed expansions are related to the general rise in the population of primary aged pupils living in the area, which is the result of the higher birth rate, new housing developments and inward migration being experienced by the County as a whole and the Bilton area of Rugby in particular.

Recent data demonstrate a 29.3% increase in the number of children starting school in Rugby over the past 8 years, and the County Council has a statutory obligation to provide sufficient school places for all pupils.  Current projections indicate that additional capacity will be required and it is proposed that extra places are provided in the Bilton area.  We do not envisage that the proposed expansions would have an impact on any neighbouring schools.

 

Building consequences

This letter concerns the statutory process regarding the principle of making organisational changes to the three schools to make them all-through primary schools and increasing the published admission number where stated.  Clearly this will require changes and extensions to the existing school buildings and/or the provision of new accommodation; however, this will be subject to a separate process of consultation once plans have been fully developed. This process will be linked to the submission of an application for planning permission.

 

What is the proposed timetable?

16th July 2015: The County Council’s Cabinet gave approval for the proposal to go out for consultation. This report is available to the general public by following the link below to the County Council website:https://democratic.warwickshire.gov.uk/cmis5/Calendarofmeetings.aspx

5th January 2016 – 5th February 2016: Consultation with parents, the local community, schools and other interested parties to take into account the views expressed regarding the proposals to extend the age range and the proposed increase in numbers.

10th March 2016: The County Council’s Cabinet will review the feedback from the consultation and decide whether or not to proceed to the next stage of the process, which would be the publication of statutory notices.

24th March 2016: If Cabinet agrees to proceed, the next stage of the process is the issue of a Public Notice triggering a formal period of representation of four weeks. Further responses to the proposals can be made during this time.

At the end of this period of representation, the Cabinet will make the final decision on the proposals and confirm whether the proposed changes can proceed. These decisions are scheduled for the Cabinet meeting on 12thMay 2016.

If the Cabinet agree to the proposals, the decision will begin to be implemented from June 2016.

 

Have Your Say…

As an integral part of this process, we are inviting you to take part in this consultation. We welcome your views on the proposed changes raised in this letter and all viewpoints will be taken into account before a final decision is made. Feedback can be given in the following ways;

On-line Survey 

Please click HERE to access the on-line survey.

In Writing

And returning it to:

Sarah Mills, Service Manager Access & Organisation

Building 3, Saltisford Office Park

Ansell Way

Warwick

CV34 4UL

Alternatively, the form can be handed in at the schools.

Via Email

consultations@warwickshire.gov.uk

The closing date for comments to be submitted at this stage of the consultation is 5th February 2016.

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