Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Dagenham
Contact: Alan Dawson, Democratic Services Team Manager, Civic Centre, Dagenham Telephone - 020 8227 2348 / e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Declaration of Members' Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.
Councillor Smith declared a personal interest in relation to item 4 (Proposed Amalgamation of William Ford Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Junior School and Village Infant School) as his children attended the schools.
The minutes of the meeting on 26 June 2012 were confirmed as correct.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Education presented a report on the proposal for the amalgamation of William Ford Church of England Junior School and Village Infant School to form an all-through Church of England Primary School with effect from 1 September 2012 (2012/13 academic year).
The Cabinet Member referred to the Council’s amalgamation policy in respect of infant and junior schools and explained that in light of the decision made by the Headteacher of Village Infant School to retire at the end of August 2012, discussions were initiated several months back with the Diocese of Chelmsford and the Governing Bodies of William Ford Church of England Junior School and Village Infant School regarding options for the amalgamation of the two schools which were on adjoining sites and were already considered as “linked schools” for infant to junior admissions purposes. In the light of support from the Diocese and Governing Bodies to the principles of amalgamation, a preferred option was developed which would involve the formal closure of Village Infant School with effect from 31 August 2012 and the creation of a new voluntary-aided Church of England Primary School with effect from 1 September 2012. The Cabinet Member commented on the “Outstanding” judgement that William Ford Church of England Junior School had received following its latest OFSTED inspection in July 2010.
The implications of the amalgamation would include enlarging the premises of the existing Junior School by including the buildings previously used by the Infant school, making an alteration to the current Junior School by lowering the age range of the pupils there from 7 to 11 years to age 3 to 11 years, increasing admission numbers from 81 to 90 each year throughout and adding nursery provision, with all pupils on the school roll of the Infant and Junior schools as at the end of the Autumn Term 2012 transferring on to the roll of the Primary School. The amalgamation would also involve staff at Village Infants School transferring to the newly formed Primary School under TUPE regulations.
The Cabinet Member referred to the main areas of concern that had been expressed during the statutory consultation on the proposal, principally by staff and parents of children at Village Infants School, which were set out in paragraph 4.7 of the report and he advised that he and the Corporate Director of Children’s Services had attended several meetings to address those concerns.
The Corporate Director of Children’s Services elaborated on the concerns expressed by the members of staff at Village Infants School regarding the amalgamation with a voluntary-aided faith school. The Corporate Director explained that there would be no need to make redundancies and that the Council would support any member of staff not wishing to transfer to the newly formed Church of England Primary School to find a similar position at another community school within the Borough. With regard to parents’ concerns regarding the admissions criteria for the new Primary School, the Corporate Director advised that the William Ford Church ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
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