Controversial plans to change schools in Huddersfield could be backed next week.

A final decision is set to be made on proposals to create an ‘all-through’ school to serve the local community in Almondbury.

Kirklees Council is proposing to develop an all-through school for children aged from 3 to 16, including nursery, by bringing together three existing schools – Greenside Infant and Nursery School, Almondbury Junior School and Almondbury High School – on a single site.

The council claims the proposals are designed to raise educational standards for local children but many families and others are opposed to the ideas.

The issue comes up on Tuesday (April 8) when Cabinet members will decide whether to agree implementation.

At the same meeting the council will vote on whether to press ahead with a proposal to bring together Denby Dale Nursery School and Gilthwaites First School as one school on a single site, serving the local community and catering for children aged from two to 10.

All of the provision would be based at the current Gilthwaites site, which would be expanded and developed so that it was completely suitable for the increased age range.

Gilthwaites First School in Denby Dale
Gilthwaites First School in Denby Dale
 

If Cabinet members agree, the proposals will move on to the next stage in the process.

The Almondbury plans, if backed, would mean Cabinet will also be asked to agree funding of approximately £1.3 million. This investment would be used to make all the necessary changes to facilities and carry out a range of adaptations to current buildings.

The all-through school would be located at the site in Fernside Avenue that is currently shared by Greenside Infant and Nursery and Almondbury High, with junior school pupils moving a short distance from Southfield Road to join the younger and older children.

Infant and nursery children would continue using the dedicated facilities in what is currently Greenside Infant and Nursery. These children would be part of the all-through school but would have their own building and outdoor space.

Clr Cath Harris, Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “Our priority is to achieve the best possible educational standards for current and future pupils, helping children to fulfil their potential.

“Investing £1.3m in local children would be a clear show of our commitment to the all-through school – ensuring the facilities were absolutely suitable for all ages, providing exciting new opportunities and promoting excellent teaching and learning.

“We have received a wide range of views about these proposals and they have been very helpful in our shared forward planning. We value the involvement of parents and carers, schools staff, governors, children and everybody else with an interest in educational standards”.

In Denby Dale, the two schools are already federated, which means they benefit from close links and operate successfully with a single head teacher and governing body.

If the changes went ahead, children with a place at Denby Dale Nursery School would automatically transfer to the day care or nursery provision at the proposed first and nursery school.

The proposals are intended to support working parents by providing high-quality services on one site; remove the need for children to move sites at the age of four; improve the financial sustainability of early education and childcare in the Denby Dale area; and provide quality accommodation for early learning and childcare.

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