Proposed amalgamation of Torridon Infant and Nursery School and Torridon Junior School – Commencement of initial consultation

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Proposed amalgamation of Torridon Infant and Nursery School and Torridon Junior School – Commencement of initial consultation and meeting

Lewisham Council is embarking on a 6 week consultation regarding the proposal to amalgamate Torridon Infant and Nursery School and Torridon Junior School from September 2018 onwards.

Consultation
The consultation will run from noon Tuesday 2 January to noon Tuesday 13 February 2018.
During this time interested parties are invited to give their views on the proposal to amalgamate Torridon Infant and Nursery School and Torridon Junior School.
This can be done online via the Lewisham Consultation Portal
Alternatively consultation information can be picked up from either Torridon Infant and Nursery School or Torridon Junior School during school hours, or you can email matt.henaughan@lewisham.gov.uk for an electronic copy.

Public Consultation Meeting
Date: 17 January 2018
Time: 7pm
Place: Torridon Infant School, Torridon Road, Catford, SE6 1TG
At this meeting you can come and chat through the proposal with the schools and council officers

Rationale

The council has been approached by both the Torridon Infant and Nursery School Governing Body and the Torridon Junior School Governing body to help support the schools to explore amalgamation.

The two school Governing Bodies feel strongly that amalgamation is in the best interests of the children of both schools. The methodology for the proposed amalgamation would be to close the Junior School and extend the age range of the Infant School

The Torridon Infant and Nursery School Governing Body believe that amalgamation will provide:
1. Greater consistency in teaching and learning across primary key stages
2. Smooth transition and less disruption for children (and families/carers) moving from Infants to Juniors
3. Increased professional development opportunities for teachers and all staff and sharing of good practice and expertise
4. Long-term financial and resource efficiency and savings
5. More effective use of premises
6. Increased likelihood of recruiting a new Head teacher by offering a position of leadership to take forward a vision for an amalgamated primary school.

Additionally the Torridon Junior School Governing Body believe that amalgamation will provide;
1. Greater consistency across both Key Stages, sharing knowledge of pupils and pedagogy across the Year groups
2. Improved safeguarding, particularly around SEN children
3. The opportunity for Junior staff to get to know the children and families at a much earlier stage and identify when help and support may be needed earlier
4. Staff unity, the opportunity for staff to share expertise and resources and greater professional development opportunities across both Key Stages
5. Continuity of care and development for our children meaning, for example, less anxiety for them as they move from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2
6. A better staff understanding of curriculum challenges and the demands of each phase
7. Greater opportunity for the older and younger children to mix leading to, for example, increased mentoring and support for the younger children by the older ones
8. Potential for significant financial savings through efficiencies and resource sharing
9. Better continuity in progress for all pupils
10. A more attractive proposition to recruit both a head teacher and other staff members with more options for development and retention
11. A more effective use of premises

The council support the proposed amalgamation for the following reasons:
1. It would provide an uninterrupted transition from year 2 to year 3, allowing for a better continuation of education and helping to prevent pupils taking a backwards step in their learning and progress.
2. It would allow for a greater oversight of collective school improvement and allow a better use of a wider pool of collective resources and skills to ensure that pupils receive the best education possible.
3. It would provide more opportunity for staff development and career progression as the result of a larger workforce and wider skill set. As a consequence it would also therefore make it easier for the school to retain and attract staff as more career and learning opportunities would be available.
4. It would allow the school site(s) to be used more effectively and to the collective good of all pupils and staff, creating a more engaging and enriching environment in which to work and learn.
5. It would also allow for the school to achieve economies of scale regarding procuring services and resources, as well as allowing the school to be collectively more financially viable due to a larger pupil base.
6. It would allow greater opportunity for the recruitment of a substantive head teacher to lead the new school.
7. It would also provide a better environment for children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Resource Base (The Lighthouse), further supporting the councils provision of services to children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Further background information can be found on the consultation portal www.lewisham.gov.uk/consultation along with the consultation questionnaire.

Next Steps

Following the completion of this consultation, a report will be produced for the Lewisham Mayor and Cabinet to consider people’s views before deciding whether to continue the statutory process required to make a decision on whether to move forwards with amalgamation.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Henaughan
SGM Strategic Service Planning and Business Change
Children and Young People

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Hi. I am the coordinator for the Catford South Local Assembly and a friend of all things Catford :-)

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