Woodfield was put into special measures by Ofsted in January 2020. Any school judged “inadequate” by Ofsted is required to become a sponsored academy but Woodfield failed to find an academy willing to take it on.
At the meeting today county councillors will discuss whether the merger should move to a consultation period from December 2. It has already been discussed by the governing bodies of each school.
The consultation stage would last until January 22, next year with a final decision taken by the executive board in April.
Woodfield Primary School has been under-subscribed for years, according to a county council report. It currently has 49 pupils and Grove Road has 292.
New format for the schools
The Woodfield site would initially operate as a nursery for children from both schools while Grove Road would cater for children from reception to year six.
Then from September 2023, all nursery children and reception pupils would be based at the current Woodfield site, which would eventually accommodate all key stage 1 pupils. All key stage 2 children would be based at the current Grove Road site.
The county council report says if the proposals went ahead, there would be 350 primary school places available across the two sites of the amalgamated Grove Road School.
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The report spoke of the future of staff at Woodfield school:
“The county council is the employer for staff at both Grove Road Community Primary School and Woodfield Community Primary School and the Governing Bodies will seek to protect employment as far as possible for staff currently employed at Woodfield.
“A separate HR consultation process for staff and their professional associations will commence in the spring term and the Governing Bodies will most likely propose an internal transfer of staff from Woodfield to Grove Road.”