PLANS to bring together an infant school and a junior school to create a new primary have cleared an important hurdle.
East Sussex County Council wants to amalgamate Hampden Park Infants and Highfield Junior to create a new all-through primary school.
The proposals are supported by both schools and have now been given approval to move to the next stage by the Secretary of State.
This follows the informal consultation which the council carried out at the start of 2010.
The Secretary of State’s decision to allow the County Council to proceed with the scheme means that the council can now publish formal statutory notices for the new school which will be situated on the Highfield site.
This notice will start a six-week formal consultation on the plans.
Because of surplus places at Highfield School, all pupils from both schools would be able to be accommodated on the Highfield site from day one with only minor building improvements.
Currently the intention is for the new school, which will have a different name, to open in September 2011.
Councillor David Elkin, the County Council’s Lead Member for Learning and School Effectiveness, said, “There is a lot of hard work that needs to be done between now and September but it will be worth it.
“Hampden Park is already a feeder school for Highfield so it makes very good sense for that partnership to be strengthened further to create a single primary school covering all ages.
“Single management, leadership and curriculum will provide better continuity for pupils and will help achieve higher standards.”
Following the completion of statutory notice period, a conclusive report will be sent to the schools adjudicator for a final decision.