Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 18th May 2006
Title of Item/Report
Primary Schools in Billingham
Record of the Decision
Cabinet was reminded that the Council had encouraged the formation of primary schools rather than separate infant and junior schools, on grounds of improved continuity and consistency of teaching and pastoral care, enhanced career opportunities for staff, and greater flexibility in management. Three pairs of schools in the Borough had been amalgamated in recent years following consultation instigated at the request of the governing bodies of those schools. The Council had not sought to impose amalgamation against the wishes of schools.

It was explained that only two pairs of infant and junior schools remained in the Borough. These were:-

• Roseberry Infant School and Roseberry Junior School and;
• Bewley Infant School and Bewley Junior School

Meetings of the governing bodies of Roseberry Infant School and Roseberry Junior School had produced contradictory outcomes: one governing body agreed to consultation on a possible amalgamation, but the other had not. Parents of children attending those schools, and staff working in them, had not had an opportunity to consider the issues around amalgamation and express their views (apart from the small number who sat on the governing bodies). Consultation would provide that opportunity for all interested parties.

The outcome of consultation would be reported to Cabinet and would, by law, be considered before any firm proposal being made. If the responses were positive, the Authority might propose to close the separate infant and junior schools and open a new community primary school in the same buildings.

RESOLVED that the information in the report be used as the basis for consultation with interested parties, on the possible amalgamation of Roseberry Infant School with Roseberry Junior School, and of Bewley Infant School with Bewley Junior School.
Reasons for the Decision
Any proposal to change school provision was governed by a statutory process laid down in Sections 28 to 31 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, and by Schedule 6 to that Act. This required the Authority to consult interested parties and consider their responses before deciding whether to make any formal proposal to reorganise schools.

The outcome of consultation would be reported to Cabinet in due course. Members would then be invited to consider whether to proceed to the next stage in the process by publishing Statutory Notices. After six weeks in which any person may respond in writing, the Authority could determine to implement its proposals only if no written objections had been received.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday, 26th May 2006.

Proper Officer
22nd May 2006

Date of Publication: 24 May 2006

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