Struggling primary school could merge with nearby secondary

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A primary school, rated inadequate by an education watchdog, could be merged with a nearby secondary.

Under proposals drawn up by Wakefield Council, Mackie Hill Junior and Infant School in Crigglestone would be amalgamated with Kettlethorpe High School. The authority said it would “drive forward an improved quality of teaching and learning for pupils”.

Mackie Hill was graded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in its most recent inspection in December last year, down from its previous rating of ‘good’ in 2013. Inspectors said a number of classes had not had permanent teachers and teachers gave pupils too little guidance on how to improve their work.

Kettlethorpe High, pictured courtesy of Google, was graded ‘good’ on its last Ofsted visit in December 2016.

The merger would mean that the primary school would close and the high school would increase its age range and admission capacity to take in children aged 4 to 11, as well as 11 to 16.

It would operate from its own site and the currently Mackie Hill site, where the primary-age pupils would remain.

Wakefield Council has been consulting on the proposal since January 31. People have until February 16 to have their say by visiting wakefield.gov.uk/schoolchanges

The authority’s cabinet will consider the proposal and feedback in March and a final decision is expected to be made by July. If approved, the amalgamation would likely happen in the 2018/19 school year.