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Parents object to bid to merge schools
SOME parents are worried that merging an Oxford primary school from two sites to one will badly affect their children.
Year 1 and 2 pupils at SS Mary and John Primary School currently study at the Irving Building in Hertford Street, while the remaining year groups are based at the former Isis Middle School in Meadow Lane.
Governors will vote on Monday, March 25, on a plan to have all 360 pupils at the Meadow Lane site, but that has drawn objections from some parents.
They fear the school will no longer be able to give its youngest pupils a gentle transition from Comper Foundation School, which is on the Hertford Street site, to primary school.
They are also worried what might ultimately happen to the Hertford Street site.
Dominic Woodfield, 42, who has a child at Comper, said: “The governors have not presented a convincing case. It seems as if they have made a decision based on administrative convenience rather than what is in the best interests of the children.
“At the moment they have this almost intermediate school facility where children have a nice, gentle unthreatening transition from Comper into the Irving Building, then on to Meadow Lane.”
Ace North, 33, from Percy Street, who has a son in Year 1, said: “This really seemed like a great set-up for children and I just can’t imagine how it could be so carefully managed if Key Stage 1 is in Meadow Lane.”
Dan Poore, 45 of Hertford Street, has older children, now 15 and 24, who previously attended the school.
He said: “Both of my daughters benefited a lot from being on that smaller site with a group of younger children. Without a school that area will be changed potentially very significantly.”
Governors insisted the decision was in the best interests of the children.
Chairman Petronella Spivey said: “Their education is adversely affected by the fact we are on two sites. Not all children have access every day to the headteacher, to the special needs co-ordinator, and or to things like the the wildlife garden and the IT room.
“Their experience is fragmented. We do need to look very carefully at the transition and how it would be managed.”