A consultation is due to begin seeking views about plans for a new super school in Almondbury.

Kirklees Cabinet members last night backed the proposal to launch a six-week consultation to get the views of parents, staff, governors and the community.

The 1,220 all-through school would cover nursery to high school for pupils aged three to 16.

There would be a single headteacher and governing body for the new school.

It will mean three existing schools will merge – the nearby Almondbury Junior School, and Greenside Infant and Nursery School and Almondbury High School and Language College, which share a site on Fernside Avenue if the idea is fully approved later this year.

Clr Peter O’Neill, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The aim of the proposal is to improve education standards and provide the best possible educational facilities for young people in Almondbury.”

Clr Linda Wilkinson, an Almondbury Liberal Democrat member, asked Cabinet members: “Can you provide details of who the consultation will include and if they’re going to be released shortly?”

Clr O’Neill told her that final details of the consultation were being worked on and they would be confirmed soon.

Clr Mehboob Khan, council leader, asked the Almondbury ward member if she was in support of the proposals.

Clr Wilkinson replied: “I’ll reserve my opinion.

“My main priority is to ensure that children get a good education, I’m open to all suggestions.”

Clr Wilkinson said she’d heard rumours about plans for the vacant school site, but said: “If there is scaremongering beginning I hope it doesn’t skew the consultation.”

Cabinet members dismissed rumours of what would happen to the Almondbury Junior School if the merger goes ahead, saying that education and nothing else will be considered.

Almondbury Junior School
Almondbury Junior School
 

Clr O’Neill said any view of the vacant site would be taken at a later date.

The nearby Almondbury CE(VA) Infant and Nursery School is unaffected by the relocation changes.

The council admits there will be “human resources implications” with just one headteacher instead of the current three. The council says they are in talks with staff and the union.

And while it’s not a cost saving exercise – as education budgets are ringfenced – the council could benefit from the vacant school site.

The six-week consultation will conclude in time for the findings to be presented to Cabinet in November.

Formal work will take place with a final Cabinet decision in February and the school’s due to merge on May 1 2014 if backed.