Agenda and minutes
The Former Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning
Tuesday, 24th June, 2008 8.45 a.m.
Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.
Further to Minute No. 48 of the meeting held on 26th February, 2008, consideration was given to a report of the Manager, School Organisation, Planning and Development which contained the full details of the statutory consultation, including:-
v the background to the proposal and the reasons for recommending amalgamation of Broom Valley Infant and Junior Schools; objectives of the proposal
v the consultation process and papers sent out for consultation
v minutes of meetings held with the school governing body, school staff, parents and pupils
v the concerns raised and the responses to those concerns
The principal objectives of amalgamation being:
1) to provide a continuous primary entitlement across the key stages; and
2) to provide a unified management structure with a single school ethos which will be more efficient and make more effective use of resources
Considerations for amalgamation are described in the School Organisation Plan in Section 4, ‘LEA Policies and Principles’. (These are described in the appendix to the report submitted).
It was noted that no objections to the proposal had been received during the consultation period.
Resolved:- (1) That the proposal as submitted to amalgamate Broom Valley Infant and Junior Schools by the closure of Broom Valley Infant School and the expansion and a change of age range at Broom Valley Junior School, be approved with effect from 1st September, 2008, the reasons for the decision being in respect of:-
- removal of the school transfer at the end of key stage 1;
- provision of a whole school curriculum across the primary age range;
- a unified management structure with a single school ethos;
- the potential to remodel the staffing structure and to safeguard the staffing establishment when pupil numbers change across the key stages;
- a whole school approach to staff development across the primary phase; more efficient and effective use of resources, especially accommodation, when numbers fluctuate across the infant and junior phases
(2) That the Secretary of State be informed accordingly.
Further to Minute No. 62 of a previous meeting held on 15th April, 2008, consideration was given to a report presented by the Manager, School Organisation Planning and Development, on the outcome of a statutory consultation on the proposal to amalgamate Rawmarsh Monkwood Infant and Junior Schools by the closure of Rawmarsh Monkwood Infant School and a change of age range at Rawmarsh Monkwood Junior School.
Members have previously agreed to consult as appropriate where two schools meet the considerations for amalgamation which are described in the ‘School Organisation Plan’.
Pre-statutory consultations have been undertaken with School Governors, Staff and Parents, and copies of the consultation papers have also been sent to Ward Members.
Statutory proposals have now stood for 6 weeks (from 18th April to 30th May) and objections to the proposed amalgamation have been received, along with two petitions.
The meeting was informed of:-
- the principal objectives of amalgamation (as described in the School Organisation Plan in the section on ‘LEA Policies and Principles’ – and as described in an Appendix to the report now submitted)
- the background to the proposal and the reasons for recommending amalgamation of Rawmarsh Monkwood Infant and RawmarshMonkwoodJunior Schools
- the consultation process and papers sent out for consultation
- minutes of meetings held with the joint school governing bodies, joint school staff, and parents
- letters of objections received along with petitions
- the concerns raised and responses to those concerns
Members present raised questions with regard to the information presented, and the concerns of both residents and parents, as follows:-
Total of 116 names – only 38 signatures from parents.
Most of the returned slips were from residents rather than parents.
The meeting was informed that rather than an ‘amalgamation’ being a disruption to students, past experience showed that it became part of the curriculum with students becoming more stimulated because of their involvement in the progress of building works.
The education of students will not be disrupted and the children will remain in the current building, until the new building is complete. All the children will then move to the new school together in friendship groups.
There will be no environmental damage to the woodland area.
The area of the Junior school is approximately 6,500 sq. metres and the area of the Infant School is approximately 8,500 sq. metres. The latest guidance from DCFS indicates that a school of 420 pupils (as in the case of Rawmarsh Monkwood Infant and Junior Schools) requires between 12-14,000 sq. metres. Therefore, both sites will be required for the amalgamated school.
The children would be able to walk through the grounds of the ‘amalgamated’ school, and currently walk between the Infant and Junior buildings.