Schools merger plan

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COUNCILLORS are planning to combine two schools to help improve educational standards for children in a Doncaster village.

Parents are to be consulted over the next few months on the proposal to amalgamate Hatfield Travis Infants School and Hatfield Manor Junior School, which are both Church of England schools.

Education chiefs say the creation of a joint primary school for three- to 11-year-olds will improve prospects for pupils at Hatfield Manor which is categorised as needing to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

On the other hand, Hatfield Travis was judged “outstanding” at its last inspection.

The proposal would entail minimal disruption for pupils and parents because the two sites are near each other.

The newly extended Travis School would have a single headteacher and would avoid management duplication.

If the amalgamation goes ahead it will also create potential savings of up to £100,000, provide a wider range of staff expertise, and facilitate a wider range of opportunities and services for pupils and communities.

Coun Andrea Milner, cabinet member for children’s services, told fellow members of the cabinet there would be a report in June to consider the results of public consultation.

If it gets the go-ahead Hatfield Manor would close on August 31 and the extended Hatfield Travis would come into being on September 1 ready for the new academic year.

“This is another good proposal from the schools and the governing bodies.

“It is very much about one school that is doing well helping another that is not doing so well,” said Coun Milner.

Coun Mark Thompson said he had already received an email from one parent who was totally supportive of the proposal.

The same meeting was also updated on the progress of a similar proposal to amalgamate Mexborough Montagu Junior School and Mexborough Park Road Infants School to become a combined primary school with a capacity of 472 pupils, which was mooted last year.

Park Road Infants will cease to exist at the end of March and the new Montagu Primary School will come into being on April 1, using the premises of both schools, which are on the same site.

Governors of both schools are in favour and the headteacher of Park Road Infants has already taken retirement.

Coun Milner, who has visited both schools, said it would provide stability and continuity for them.

She said: “It has been a delightful experience. It makes sense and it’s great to see all the community getting behind these plans.”