Shillington Lower School to accept nursery-aged children from September, with Sandy and Blunham schools to take pupils aged up to 11
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Shillington Lower School is to accept nursery-aged children from this September, and three other schools in Sandy and Blunham are to expand their premises to take pupils aged up to 11.
Robert Peel and St Swithun’s VC lower schools in Sandy and John Donne C of E Lower School in Blunham are the three schools that will accommodate Year 5 pupils from this September, and Year 6 from next year.
Permission was granted by Central Beds Council’s executive on Tuesday – and work will now start to expand the premises at Robert Peel, St Swithun’s and John Donne to take on the extra pupils.
The governing bodies at Robert Peel, St Swithun’s and John Donne decided to become primaries in December, following public consultations.
All of the proposals received support from respondents, with 43 out of 45 backing the plans for Shillington.
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John Donne’s proposals were backed unanimously, while 85 per cent supported the plans for St Swithuns and 63 per cent backed the Robert Peel proposals.
Sue Harrison, the council’s director of children’s services, said of the Sandy and Blunham plans: “The work that the schools need to carry out is not so much necessary for accommodating Year 5 pupils this year, but for when they take on Year 6 pupils in September 2018.
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“Residents’ views are very important, which is why we carry out public consultations on any proposals and then analyse and consider all feedback in the final decision-making process.”
The Sandy and Blunham schools will now need to apply for planning permission for their extensions, and secure permission from the Department for Education if they which to change the use of any school land.
Shillington Lower School’s wish to take children from the age of two comes after Shillington Under-Fives – which used to run on the school site – closed at the end of the autumn term due to a lack of staff, in spite of efforts from the pre-school and the lower school’s governing body to keep it open.
Mrs Harrison said: “I am pleased that the change of age range has been approved as it means that there will continue to be a pre-school option for families in Shillington.
“Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation and who almost unanimously told us how important it is to extend the school’s age range.”