School merger plans to ‘boost pupils’ grades’

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PLANS to combine two Hatfield schools in a bid to improve educational standards are underway.

Councillors want to merge Hatfield Travis Infants School and Hatfield Manor Junior School, which are both Church of England schools to create a joint primary school for three to 11-year-olds.

Parents are to be consulted over the next few months on the proposal.

If the amalgamation goes ahead it will also create potential savings of up to £100,000, provide a wider range of staff expertise, and facilitate a wider range of opportunities and services for pupils and communities, Doncaster Council says.

Education chiefs say the proposal would improve prospects for pupils at Hatfield Manor which was categorised as needing to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

Hatfield Travis was judged “outstanding” at its last inspection.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting Coun Andrea Milner, cabinet member for children’s services, said there would be a report in June to consider the results of public consultation.

If it gets the green light Hatfield Manor would close on August 31 and the extended Hatfield Travis would come into being on September 1.

Coun Milner said: “This is another good proposal from the schools and the governing bodies.

“It is very much about one school that is doing well helping another that is not doing so well, “

A report into the proposal said it would cause only minimal disruption for pupils and parents because the two sites are near each other.

The proposals are part of an ongoing review into education in Doncaster.

As a result of the review focusing on areas including surplus places, the development of academies, school performance and pupil attainment a number of specific school proposals are now underway.

School organisation proposals currently under consideration include plans for Hatfield Visual Arts College to close on August 31 and re-open as an academy on September 1.

Coun Milner praised the ongoing review and said the proposed changes would help improve education standards in Doncaster

She added: “At the heart of all of these proposals are golden opportunities to support sustainable educational improvement as well as helping to deliver improved value for money.

“We welcome views and feedback from all interested parties, either through the individual response forms that are now being circulated within schools, or at forthcoming public meetings.

“The plans are very much at the beginning stages and I’m looking forward to going out and speaking with individual school communities now that initial consultation has started.”

Public meeting dates to discuss the proposed merger of Hatfield Travis Infants School and Hatfield Manor Junior School will be announced shortly.