Controversial two-tier education switch to be discussed

Prince William School in Oundle
Prince William School in Oundle
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The future structure of schooling in Thrapston and Oundle and the creation of a new primary school in Kettering are to be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council.

A report to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, June 10, recommends going ahead with a proposal to change from a three tier school model to a primary and secondary school system in the Oundle, Thrapston, Kings Cliffe and surrounding area of East Northamptonshire.

The report presents demographic and educational attainment data to support the recommendation, which if approved will see changes implemented from September 2015.

The proposals have proved controversial in Thrapston in particular, with a campaign group opposed to fight the switch.

Cllr Matthew Golby, cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said: “The consultation carried out earlier this year demonstrated that the majority of schools in the area are pragmatic about the need for change and are willing to work collectively to bring that change about.

“There’s no doubt that the data relating to the area’s educational attainment is concerning and there’s a strong case to argue that the current system is not serving the children and young people of the area well.”

If approved, the council will begin another consultation, from June 18 to July 30, into the detailed proposals of how each school in the area will be affected. This will include consultation events held in schools across the area during June.

The new school proposed for Kettering is related to the East Kettering development.

Cllr Golby said: “Meanwhile, plans for a new primary school in the Kettering area are continuing to gather pace and at next week’s meeting, we’ll discuss the proposal from the Peterborough Church of England diocese to run the new school as a voluntary-aided school.”

The report for next week’s meeting can be found on the council’s website by clicking here.