The consultation has now closed. The information below is provided for reference only.
The information on this page is also available to download, as both a Microsoft Word document and a PDF, from the bottom of the page.
What are we proposing?
On 1 December 2018, Cliff Park Infant School and Cliff Park Junior School became part of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) family as two separate schools, which was an extremely positive move in providing us with security for our future success. Since that time, we have continued to work closely together, including sharing a reception area, joint teacher training events and a joint local governing body and chair of governors.
We now feel the time is right to embark on the next phase of our journey and we therefore propose merging our infant and junior schools to become a single primary school. In doing so, the junior school would formally close, though the experience for staff and pupils will remain largely the same, and the age range of the infant school would be expanded to 11 years.
On a day-to-day basis there will be no change in provision in either school. The differing needs of each age group will continue to be met. The care and importance given to each individual child, which is a strength of both schools, will always remain paramount. We believe that bringing the schools together is a natural progression to the joint work that has occurred in the last two years.
It is incredibly important to us that we hear the views of everyone in our community in relation to the plans for one single primary because we want to ensure that any change has our children’s best interests at the heart. A formal consultation period for this will run from Tuesday 12 January 2021 until midday on Friday 26 March 2021. There will be many opportunities for you to share your views, including written feedback, online events and (if Covid-19 restrictions allow) face-to-face stakeholder events.
Why do we think a single primary school would be better?
The purpose of the merger is to create a whole-school environment that will have an even greater impact on the quality of education that children receive at Ormiston Cliff Park Infant Academy and Ormiston Cliff Park Junior Academy. If implemented, we believe the merger will bring many benefits such as:
Benefits for the children
- Delivering to pupils a complete “primary experience” from the earliest years through to supporting pupils to move up to secondary school.
- Ensuring that there is joined up thinking across the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in how we deliver the curriculum – this will help our children to do even better at school.
- Increased access to, and opportunities for, enrichment, e.g. a shared playing field and PE resources; an opportunity for a single pupil voice.
Benefits for parents and carers
- Strengthening school-parent and carer links even further, through continuity from Early Years to end of Year 6.
- Offering a greater opportunity for building relationships between pupils, parents/carers and the school to increase and share understanding of the needs of each pupil. This change would also be consistent with many other infant schools in England.
- Once a child gains admission, their school place is secure until moving on to secondary education, i.e. there would be no need to apply for a junior school place.
Benefits for staff and the school
- Enabling the school community to build relationships over a longer period, and share skills, expertise and experiences to benefit everybody.
- Enhanced career development opportunities for staff and the ability to move between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 for instance, helping develop professional skills.
- A common approach to school policies and practice providing greater opportunities for staff to share their skills and expertise.
What difference would there be?
All OAT academies follow the national curriculum and there are no planned changes to the curriculum. There will be an opportunity to provide a more consistent and integrated approach to the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment across all phases of the school.
All class sizes will remain in line with government rules and guidance.
Regardless of the merger plans, a separate consultation will be undertaken to align the times of the school day across both schools for implementation in September 2021.
In order to reflect the change of school status to a primary school, it is proposed that the school would be renamed, Ormiston Cliff Park Primary Academy.
With the change to the school name the uniform will be updated, and any changes will be kept to a minimum and phased in.
What would it mean for staff?
As part of the normal running of a school, we plan to make a small number of changes to the current staffing structure, so that by September 2021, we have the right staff in the right roles to support our children and the new single school format. This is not part of the merger and will be managed as a separate activity, any redundancies will be kept to a minimum.
Will admissions to the new primary school change?
Rather than having separate infant and junior admissions policies for the 2021–22 and 2022–23 admissions years, we are proposing they merge into one primary policy thereafter. This would mean that parents/carers would no longer need to apply for a place in Year 3. The following changes are included:
- The primary admissions policy will cover all children (previously, early years, infants and juniors).
- Amendment of oversubscription criteria so that the whole academy uses the same criteria.
- Clarification of the early-years admissions process for summer born children.
- Admissions determination process to ensure clarity of procedures for all stakeholders.
The proposed amalgamated policy can be downloaded here and via the school websites, www.ocpia.co.uk and www.ocpja.co.uk. Subject to successful consultation we will apply to the Regional Schools’ Commissioner (RSC) to agree the change and publish the final policy on our website.
You can download the information from this page below. The merger consultation proposal files below also include the stakeholder questionnaire, which you can fill in by hand and return to the school, or alternatively you can complete the questionnaire online here.