Schools shake up in Rastrick - Fate of junior and infants hangs in the balance

Longroyde Junior School, Rastrick.
Longroyde Junior School, Rastrick.

A Rastrick school will be closed and merged with another if proposals being considered by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet are given the go-ahead.

Approval is being sought for a consultation to begin on plans to close Castlefields Infant School and to expand and change the age range at Longroyde Junior School to create an all-through primary school.

Castlefield Infant School, Rastrick.

Castlefield Infant School, Rastrick.

The report by Stuart Smith, the group director of Children and Young People’s Services, said the Council is also considering the option of closing both schools and to reopen as a new school.

Outlined in the report Mr Smith says: “According to the Education Datalab report based on 2014 data, evidence indicates that junior schools score below through primary schools on pupil progress from Key Stage 1.

“In Calderdale, as across the rest of the country, infant and junior schools have to implement a full transition strategy aimed at reducing the negative impact on pupil progress as children move from Key Stage One to Key Stage Two.

“In order to reorganise the schools, it is necessary to formally close either one or both of the existing schools in order that a new all through primary school may replace them.”

Stuart Smith, Calderdale Council's director of children and young people's services.

Stuart Smith, Calderdale Council's director of children and young people's services.

Currently parents of children at the Castlefield Infant School need to apply for a Year 3 place at Longroyde Junior School.

If the proposals go ahead it would create a through primary school for children aged from four to 11, providing the same number of school places, based at two sites but with a single head teacher, leadership team and governing body.

Children will automatically move from the infant to the junior site within the same school, which is less disruptive to the child’s education than changing schools at seven.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Megan Swift said: “We’re ambitious for all our children in Calderdale and want them to receive outstanding provision from our schools. We think these changes will give children the best start in their education, making sure that they have an excellent foundation for their future studies.

“If this proposal is accepted there will be a real opportunity to develop children’s key basic skills throughout their primary school education, leading to an improvement in their performance from their early years to Key Stage 2 at Year 6.”

If approved the Council will begin a public consultation on the proposals and the results will be discussed by the Cabinet in the winter.

The Council’s Cabinet will discuss the proposals at the meeting on Monday July 13 at Halifax Town from 6pm.