Worries over school merger plan
Reporter: Robbie MacDonald
Date online: 03 October 2013
OLDHAM Council’s plan to merge Springhead Infant and Nursery School with Knowsley Junior School has worried some parents.
They think the move could reduce choice and lose Springhead its “outstanding” Ofsted judgement - as well as its current, admired head.
Jane Goodwin, the Knowsley head, is retiring, and a new head teacher will be appointed for both schools under the merger plan. This won’t automatically be Springhead head Angela Leach, who will have to apply for the post.
Both schools are in Cooper Street have around 360 pupils each. The council has no plans to build a new school and pupils will continue to be taught on both sites.
But Mum of-two Rebecca Mill (37), of Crossbank Avenue, Lees, fears the council will eventually be tempted to sell the Springhead site.
She has one child at Springhead, and a younger one due to start there in January, and said: “I chose to send my children to Springhead because I like its independent learning ethos. As voters and taxpayers, our views should be taken into consideration.
“Ofsted’s ‘outstanding’ status will be automatically lost if Springhead closes and there wouldn’t be another inspection for two years.”
She believes the council would ultimately be tempted to sell the Springhead site.
A council spokesman said there are no immediate plans for a new building to house the new school
A report is to be presented to Oldham Council’s Cabinet on October 21.
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