Schools could be merged as part of shake-up

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FOUR schools in Kirklees could be merged into two as councillors consider a major shake-up of education in the district.

The move, if backed by senior councillors, would mean pupils would no longer change schools at the age of seven and would instead attend newly-created primary schools up to the age of eleven.

Council officers are proposing that Ashbrow Junior School, in Sheepridge, Huddersfield, which currently takes pupils aged seven to 11, is closed and Ashbrow Infant and Nursery School, which has pupils aged five to seven, is expanded to take children from between the ages of five and 11, together with nursery places.

Members of the Kirklees Council’s cabinet committee, which meets on Tuesday, are also proposing that public talks begin which could see Knowles Hill Infant and Nursery School merged with Westmoor Junior School, which are both in Dewsbury Moor.

A report prepared for councillors says: “The establishment of all-through primary schools is intended to improve the educational standards attained by children through better and more flexible management of learning without a change of school at age seven.

“Single all-through institutions can establish longer term relationships with pupils and families, provide more opportunities for staff development and better manage resources to support learning.”

Both Ashbrow Junior and Ashbrow Infant schools, are currently on the same site, and if the plans are backed the new school would remain on the same site. If agreed, the new school would be able to take 315 pupils.

All children attending both schools in September 2012 would automatically become part of the new primary school.

At this stage it is proposed Knowles Hill would be closed and Westmoor would be expanded to form a single primary school. Councillors will be asked to back public talks on the issue.