23/11/06 – Schools merger gets green light
From Swindon Advertiser, 23rd November 2006.
COVINGHAM Park infant and junior schools will be merged by next September.
Swindon Council’s cabinet members have voted in favour of merging the two schools, which share the same site at The Harriers.
The council says it will be more cost-effective to have just one primary school.
Coun Garry Perkins, (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), the cabinet member
for children’s services, said: “The merger has been given the go-ahead
and all of the governors and parents are happy about the proposals.
“There has only been one objection – probably the lowest I have ever known – and it is a very positive move for the school.
“Many people felt the school needed revitalising and this will give
pupils the opportunity to get the most out of their education and make
some real achievements.
“A bit of work needs to be done on bringing the two schools
together and there is a quarter of a million pounds earmarked to do
This work will include a walkway to join the two buildings.
There will be one headteacher at the helm of the new school and Coun
Perkins said the position will be advertised – both schools are
currently being run by acting heads.
As we reported in January, Covingham Park Junior School sank into special measures following a damning Ofsted report.
Inspectors found pupils’ progress was inadequate and that the school
had been on a downward slide since the last inspection in 1999.
In September, Colin Green, the headteacher at the junior school, did not return after the summer holidays.
Jon Swaffield, Haydonleigh Primary head, was drafted in to get the
school out of special measures and standards are already improving.
Cllr Glenn Smith
|Following the pre-statutory consultation, the statutory process has begun. This should normally be a formality now.
The pre-statutory consultation showed that parents where in favour of the merger as it would provide more resources for the school and allow it to considerably improve it’s performance and teaching ability, and therefore improve the children who attend education.
I am in favour of anything we can do to improve the education and learning abilities of the children within the Borough.