New primary school moves a step closer

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PLANS to bring together an infant school and a junior school in Eastbourne to create a new primary have been given the green light.

The county council wants to amalgamate Hampden Park Infants (ages four-seven) and Highfield Junior (ages seven-11) to create a new all-through primary school.

The final decision rested with the Government’s Office of the School Adjudicator who has now approved the creation of the new school subject to planning permission.

The proposals are backed by both schools and a large majority of people signalled their support for the plans in consultations the council carried out among parents and the wider community.

All pupils from both schools will be accommodated on the Highfield site from day one following improvements to learning areas both indoors and outside.

By 2014/15 the school will operate at full capacity for which a small extension of three classrooms will be required.

The intention is for the new school to open in September 2011 under a new name. The adjudicator has agreed these proposals on condition planning permissions are achieved by the end of the academic year for the improvement works needed at Highfield.

Cllr Nick Bennett, the county council lead member for learning and school effectiveness said a close relationship already existed between the two schools and Hampden Park was already a feeder school for Highfield.

He added, “This is very good news indeed. These proposals are about strengthening the links between the two schools to create a new single primary school. I am delighted the schools adjudicator has given the green light to get on with making that happen.”

Cllr Bennett said a new school would mean all pupils would benefit from single management and leadership and the curriculum will help pupils achieve higher standards.