FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you thinking of changing the schools?

The Governors of both the Infant and Junior schools have held discussions with the Academy sponsor (The Kemnal Academies Trust, TKAT) to look at how best to secure the future of both schools.  Our principal aim is to continue to strive for the highest standard of education for our children.

We believe that the most effective means of achieving this aim is by the amalgamation of the two schools into one school on the existing site. If approved, this would take effect from September 2016. There is evidence to show that standards, in other schools that have amalgamated, have continued to rise.

Why can’t the schools stay as they are?

The schools could remain as they are, however we want to build on the continuing improvements that have already been made at both schools and believe that the best way of achieving this will be by amalgamating them into one school. We want to create excellent primary education at the heart of the Broadfield community where students are happy and can achieve their full potential through high quality teaching and a varied and rich curriculum. The benefits of a single school will be:

·         Children will receive a seamless transition of education from nursery through to Year 6, eliminating the ‘drop back’ in their learning that can occur when they change schools

·         The provision of a rich and varied learning experience for all pupils, so ensuring each child has the opportunity to reach their full potential

·         Benefits educationally, emotionally and physically in supporting and working with children without them having to change schools

·         The creation of a stable and sustainable future for the schools, providing a good curriculum and wider range of experience for teaching and support staff.

·         Schemes of learning will be consistent throughout the school, eliminating barriers to childrens’ education

·         Children of all years will be able to mix and care for one another

Who will make the decision and when will it be made?

Any changes will need to be approved by the Secretary of State. It is anticipated that this will be taken early in 2016.

When is this all going to happen?

This process is at a very early stage. Full consultation on the detailed proposals is taking place with staff, parents, students, the community and others from 11th September 2015 until 14th October 2015. A decision on the proposals is likely to be taken by the Secretary of State early in 2016. Any changes are anticipated to be introduced from September 2016

Will this affect teaching and performance for the existing pupils?

Preparations for the proposed amalgamation and the transition to a single school (if it goes ahead) will not affect the current pupils. Additional resource has been provided by the Academy Trust (The Kemnal Academies Trust, TKAT) to support the governors, headteachers and senior staff through this process. Other resources will be provided during the process as required to ensure that senior leaders are not taken away from focusing on the performance of existing pupils.

What does this mean for my child?

We would like to reassure you that we will maintain our commitment to providing a great learning experience for your child, and to give them the opportunities to realise their full potential. It is likely that the single school will have a new name, uniform and logo but the details of this are yet to be developed and your and your child’s input to this will be sought at a later stage.

From September 2017, it does mean that new parents will only need to apply to the school once (still using the Admissions process with West Sussex County Council) rather than the existing situation of having to apply to the Infant and Junior Schools separately.

Will I still need to apply for a place in the Junior School for my Year 2 child for September 2016?

Yes, until approval has been granted and the schools have amalgamated (which would start from September 2016) both schools are operating independently. Therefore if your child is currently in Year 2 of the Infant School you will need make an application, through the Admissions process with West Sussex County Council. Please note that all applications must be submitted by 15th January 2016.

How will the process be managed?

We believe that it is important to manage any change properly, particularly in this situation where we need to ensure that the education of the existing pupils is paramount. TKAT have appointed a project manager to assist with this process, and the schools will be supported by educational, human resource and finance specialists. The senior leadership staff at both schools will not be taken away from teaching, or their focus on managing the schools, to attend numerous meetings. The various stages in the process will be carefully planned and executed, supported by a rigorous analysis of any potential risks, so that any preventative action can be taken to ensure a seamless transition.

During any period of change staff can become unsettled and may wish to seek employment elsewhere. We do not wish to lose any good teachers or support staff. Good leadership will be provided in the schools to minimalise this happening and to keep staff informed at all stages in the process.

What will the single school look like?

The school will still be situated on the same site as the existing two schools. The school will continue to take children from 3 to 11 years and will have a capacity of 630 pupils. There are no plans to change the current capacity or age-range of the schools.

It is anticipated that the new school will have:

·         A single headteacher

·         A single leadership team

·         A revised teaching and support staff structure

·         Consistent schemes of learning across the year groups

·         Single back office/support functions

·         A single governing body

·         A single policy system

·         Single contracts and SLAs for services and supplies

Any financial savings from implementing the amalgamation will be reinvested into the school to strengthen teaching and learning.