Wilby CE Primary's potential move to Glenvale Park facility to be discussed at council executive meeting next week
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A council meeting will take place on November 17 to determine if Wilby CE Primary should move to a vacant facility in Wellingborough’s Glenvale Park development.
Earlier in the year NNC reviewed expressions of interest applications from Little Harrowden Primary School and Wilby CEVA Primary School, with the latter receiving the recommendation after a ‘rigorous interview process’.
After a public consultation period that lasted for 30 days from September 5 garnered 204 responses, the findings will be considered as item 15 of the executive meeting at the Corby Cube.
Cllr Scott Edwards, executive member for children, families, education and skills, said: “We need to make sure that we arrive at the best decision which is why it was so important that we gathered as many views as possible.
“We will now review the recommendations and endeavour to make the best decision for the children and parents of the school.”
Jason Smithers, leader of North Northants Council, added: “We encouraged as many people as possible to take part in the consultation.
"We will now make an informed choice with the best interests of the children and their education at the heart of our decision.”
The school premises in Glenvale Park required an existing school in the local area to move into it in time for the 2024-25 academic year after it was discovered that the demand for places would not likely meet the requirements for Department for Education funding.
Upon hearing that Wilby CE Primary was recommended by the council in July Lynette Dudley, on behalf of the governors, said: “We are delighted that Wilby CE Primary has been selected as the preferred school.
"This is a fantastic opportunity that will give our children better learning spaces, more vibrant and green play areas and access to better resources and opportunities.”
However, Wilby CE Primary’s expression of interest, and subsequent recommendation, was not well-received by some parents, with one concerned resident, Ruth Pritchard, launching a petition which amassed more than 300 signatures.
At the time, she said: “The school and the church are the heart of the village and the hub of the community, and without the school I feel it would have a massive negative impact on the village.”
The recommendation was put forward, however, and the executive meeting next week will review the results of the month-long consultation to determine if Wilby CE Primary is a suitor for the 420-pupil capacity premises.
The proposal recommendation noted that the relocation would ‘support children and young people and their families to access high quality sustainable education facilities that enable the achievement of the best outcomes.’
If Wilby CE Primary School’s move to the Glenvale Park development is approved, the next step is to begin the process with the Department for Education of making a significant change to a maintained school.
Simultaneously, the necessary preparations and planning for the relocation will begin immediately.
The council insists that families from the Glenvale Park development with primary aged children will be able to apply for a school place as part of the normal admissions process.