Talks on the fate of schools

Longroyde Junior School, Rastrick.
Longroyde Junior School, Rastrick.
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The future of two Rastrick schools will be decided as councillors discuss whether to close one and create a new through school.

The initial consultation period is complete regarding the proposal to close Castlefields Infant School and to expand Longroyde Junior School.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will meet on Monday night to decide whether to progress to the next stage of the statutory process which is to publish the full proposal.

In a report by Richard Morse, Senior Commissioning Officer in School Organisation and Planning at the Council, he says that the merger will be beneficial for all concerned.

“In order to reorganise the schools, it is necessary to formally close either one or both of the existing schools in order that a new all through primary school may replace them.

“A new single school will offer advantages for children, parents, governance teaching, learning and the community, which outweigh any temporary, minor disadvantages that might result from the reorganisation.

“It is in the interest of the authority to commence consultation at this stage to avoid any consequential delays.”

Discussions have taken place for staff at both schools and two separate meetings were held for the governors at Longroyde Junior School and Castlefields Infant School.

However, concerns have been raised about the potential loss of jobs and the structure of the governing body.

Victoria Mellor, chair of governors at Castlefields Infant School, said there a fear that the governing body would be dissolved in its entirety and no governors would be appointed as Longroyde School had just reconstituted their governing body.

She also said that the schools would still be working across two sites and would not address the benefits the Council has highlighted.

Currently parents of children at the Castlefields Infant School need to apply for a Year 3 place at Longroyde Junior School.

If the proposals go ahead it would create a through primary school for children aged from four to 11, providing the same number of school places, based at two sites but with a single head teacher, leadership team and governing body. The Cabinet meeting will take place on Monday December 14 at Halifax Town at 6pm.

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