Final bell to ring at Rastrick infant school as closure looms

Castlefield Infant School, Rastrick.
Castlefield Infant School, Rastrick.

A Rastrick school is set to closed and merged with another one as councillors look set to approve the closure.

In a report by Stuart Smith. the director of children and young people’s services at Calderdale Council that will go before cabinet, it recommends to close Castlefields Infant School and create a new through school with Longroyde Junior School.

Mr Smith said: “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. Although some opposition to the proposals was raised at consultation stage, no representations were made following the formal publication of statutory notices and the subsequent period for representations.”

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.

Currently parents of children at the Castlefields Infant School need to apply for a Year three place at Longroyde Junior School which isonly half a mile away.

Castlefields Infant School was inspected by Ofsted in September 2012 and again in June 2014.

Both inspection teams judged the school to be requiring improvement, this places the school at risk of being judged a ‘coasting school’ under the latest government legislation according Mr Smith’s report.

According to the Education Datalab report based on 2014 data, evidence indicates that junior schools score below through primary schools on pupil progress from Key Stage One.

There is evidence to suggest that issues at transition between separate infant and junior schools impede progress for some pupils.

If the closure goes 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.

If Cabinet approves the closure of Castlefields Infant School on August 31 2016 and the expansion of Longroyde Junior School from September 1, 2016.

The Cabinet meeting will take place on Monday March 8 at Halifax Town at 4pm.

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