Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 23 JUNE 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 28 APRIL 2014
C2303 PROPOSAL TO AMALGAMATE DINAS POWYS INFANT AND MURCH JUNIOR SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - LIFELONG LEARNING) –
Approval was sought to consult stakeholders on a proposal to create a new 420 place primary school through the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior schools.
Following a programme of amalgamating infant and junior schools, the most recent of which were Cadoxton Primary School in 2002 and Romilly Primary School in 2008, the infant and junior schools in Dinas Powys were the last remaining single phase Maintained Community schools in the Vale.
The report outlined that there were two options for amalgamating the schools. One option was to close both schools and open a new school which was the approach taken in relation to the proposal to amalgamate Llanilltud Fawr and Eagleswell Primary schools in Llantwit Major. A governing body for the new school would be established which would decide the staffing structure for the new school including appointment to the post of Headteacher.
An alternative option would be to discontinue one of the schools and change the age range of the other. For example, Murch Junior School could be discontinued and the age range of Dinas Powys Infant School changed. The substantive headteacher of Dinas Powys Infant School would become the Headteacher of the new amalgamated school and the governing body of the infant school would become the governing body of the new school and would be expanded from its current number of 14 up to a maximum of 18. This approach was adopted for the amalgamation of Romilly Infant and Junior Schools in 2008.
Following careful consideration of the two options it was proposed to follow the alternative option described above which would provide more continuity of leadership. Care would be given in the consultation and amalgamation process to ensuring the ethos and traditions of Murch Junior School were fully recognised within new school.
In order to amalgamate the two schools the Council would need to comply with the statutory process detailed in the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013. Appendix A attached to the report set out the anticipated timescale for the process.
In presenting this item the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services highlighted that there was no plan to sell off any land in Dinas Powys connected to either school. He made clear that the plan was to simply consult on the almalgamation of the two schools.
He further commented that he would be Chairing a Joint Meeting of the two Governing bodies.
The Leader clarified that Appendix A of the report should be amended to read as follows; that the date of the Objection Report to Cabinet on 1 December 2014 be amended to read on or after 1 December, 2014 to allow for flexibility, and the Decision Notification date of 12 December, 2014 be amended to read on or after 12 December 2014 to allow for flexibility.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T consultation from 2 June 2014 for a period of 8 weeks on a proposal to create a new 420 place primary school through the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior schools by discontinuing Murch Junior School and changing the age range of Dinas Powys infant school to admit children up to the age of 11 be approved.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.
(3) T H A T the amendments to Appendix A of the report as referred to above be agreed.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To assess the level of support for the proposal to amalgamate Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior school into a single Primary school on the existing two sites.
(2) To ensure Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) were aware of progress with school reorganisation.
(3) To allow flexibility.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 29 APRIL 2014