As our school community, we encourage all stakeholders to be well informed and to make your own decisions based on individual circumstances and experiences. We are not seeking to influence your opinion, only to make clear our position.
The Governing Body of Parklands Infant School has carefully considered the proposal presented by Havering LA to amalgamate the Infant and Junior School and have already made representation to the LA against amalgamation and in favour of alternative ways to work more closely together.
Governors can clearly see the value in working more closely together with the Junior School for the benefit of our children and their families, and welcome opportunities for closer alignment of curricula, policies and practices between the two school bodies.
Although we do not support an amalgamation, we are supportive of finding alternatives ways of working together more with the Junior school. If a Federation is not possible, we would seek to find alternative ways in which both schools can retain their identity and focus on the children within each respective school. We will be responding directly to the consultation in this light.
In our considerations we are mindful that, at c.920 pupils, a new Parklands Primary school would be one of the largest in the area. We believe that this size, together with the loss of identity from closing the Infant School, would make any change management process complex and disruptive for our pupils and families.
Governors would also like to put into perspective the transition process to the Junior School, for those parents who have not yet had children move to the Junior School. Although we appreciate it can be more convenient, the removal of the application process will save only a matter of minutes and is a simple online form. In fact, not one child has missed out on a place as far as our collective memory serves.
Governors feel that an alternative working relationship would realise the benefits of closer working together whilst mitigating some of the potential negative impacts on our children and staff. One hugely negative impact is the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding resulting from the amalgamation, at a time when school budgets are stretched already. The total loss of budget to the pupils across the two schools is projected to be £235,344 over four years, and obviously more beyond.
We would also like to clarify that whilst Governors recognise that the school is continually looking to improve, our data is well above national and LA averages and we are proud of the progress and emotional development every child makes at the Infants. We believe that we can achieve the same benefits from working together, whilst retaining all that we love about the Infant School as well as protecting vital funding.
Quote from Parklands Infant School OFSTED 2018
‘The leadership team has maintained the good quality education in the school since the last inspection. You have set high expectations for what the pupils can achieve. These expectations are based on your ethos: ‘Children are our Future.’ You also seek to enable all pupils to develop an awareness of self and sensitivity to others, achieve the highest possible standards, appreciate their lives and achievements of others, and develop a love of learning, and you seek to provide skills for the next steps in pupils’ learning. One of the strengths of the school is the pupils’ attitudes to learning. They work hard to support each other. They are polite, resilient and increasingly independent and take a pride in their school.