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Special measures school set to close
6:00pm Friday 8th June 2012 in News
A JUNIOR school which is in special measures has been earmarked for closure.
Education bosses at Blackburn with Darwen Council have announced plans to shut Hawthorns Junior School to create a 542 pupil school at the neighbouring infants school.
Council bosses said headteacher Gary Gornall’s resignation had forced them to review the school and a decision was taken to create a single school for nursery children aged 11.
The council has reviewed both schools every time a head left but has never put forward merger proposals until now.
Unions say the move will help prevent the school becoming an academy.
If approved by the council’s executive board and the Department for Education, the new school would be for 542 pupil in the infant and junior school buildings, with Steve Bladon as headteacher.
But the council has warned that it cannot guarantee that the jobs at Hawthorns Junior School would be transferred to the new site.
Plans to close the St James’ Road, Blackburn, school come as the Department for Education warned that schools in special measures would be forced to become academies.
By closing the school and expanding an existing one, the new school would remain in the council’s control.
Hawthorns Junior School was placed in special measures by Ofsted in 2010. The special measures rating would not be transferred to Cedar’s Infant School which has a good rating.
Coun Maureen Bateson, executive member for children’s services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Obviously there will be restructuring of staff and management at the two schools but I cannot say if there will be redundancy. There will be no reduction in classroom teaching as a result of this change.
“This is about improving the educational opportunities for children in the area."
The council would not comment on the government’s plan to turn all schools in special measures into academies.
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