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Troubled primary merger with nearby secondary goes ahead

Mackie Hill Junior and Infant School.
Mackie Hill Junior and Infant School.

A government order for a troubled primary school to be made an academy will be scrapped after Wakefield Council approved plans to merge it with a nearby secondary instead.

Mackie Hill Junior and Infant School near Crigglestone will be taken over by the leaders at Kettlethorpe High in the autumn.

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The secondary school has been running Mackie Hill for most of this academic year after the primary was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

The local authority says that the merger will improve the quality of teaching on offer at both schools, though two formal objections against the move were raised.

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The Department of Education had told the council that Mackie Hill would have to be made an academy if the merger did not go ahead.

Local leaders were keen to avoid this alternative, as they’d need to find a sponsor to pump cash into the school at short notice.

At a council Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, portfolio holder for education Margaret Isherwood said: “There’s an urgency about dealing with this.

“We need to get this through Cabinet so it can go back to the Secretary of State for Education to rescind the order in place (to make Mackie Hill an academy).”

The merger was unanimously agreed.