Schools in Sandal to merge?

w7675d914 Exterior of Sandal Endowed Junior School.
w7675d914 Exterior of Sandal Endowed Junior School.
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JOBS could be lost in a plan to merge two Sandal schools.

Next week Wakefield Council’s Cabinet committee will discuss a proposal to combine Castle Grove Infants School and Sandal Endowed Junior School, to address uneven pupil numbers.

And a report to go before the committee said redundancies would be possible if fewer staff were needed following the merger.

The infant school, on Pinfold Lane, has 60 places and is regularly oversubscribed, while the Barnsley Road junior school has 93 places but admits fewer than 60 children each year.

The two schools have had the same governing body since they federated in 2009.

Cabinet members are expected to approve the launch of a public consultation on the plan to get the views of school staff, governors and parents.

Coun Olivia Rowley, Cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Although all children in the area received a place last year, all reception classes were full in each school. The demand for places is expected to rise each year.

“The proposal to merge the schools will meet the need for additional places to make sure there are places available for children in the area.

“The consultation will welcome the views of parents, pupils and the wider community, to have a say in the future organisation of their local primary schools.”

Last month the Express revealed that surplus school places were costing the council more than £4m a year.

Waterton J&I and Snapethorpe Primary School, in Lupset, have already merged for similar reasons.

In an Ofsted inspection last summer, Sandal Endowed was commended for greatly improving standards since the appointment of headteacher Nichola Russell in September 2009. Earlier that year it had been identified as a vulnerable school “causing concern”.

The report said school governors and the council would try to have excess staff redeployed.