PARENTS at a struggling Oxfordshire school have a matter of weeks to have their say on plans to split the school in two.

A consultation period is underway for the breaking up of St Gregory the Great Catholic school in Cowley into separate primary and secondary schools.

Last week, the report of a monitoring visit found that the school was ‘taking effective action towards the removal of special measures’.

St Gregory’s was first rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures back in 2017.

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The proposed split would see the formation of a primary school with nursery for children aged between three and 11, and a secondary school with sixth form for pupils aged from 11 to 19.

Each school would have its own admission policies, headteacher, and independent Ofsted inspections.

The move would see the new primary school become a Church of England school and move into the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, meanwhile it is proposed the secondary school move into the Pope Francis Multi Academy Company (MAC).

The school says that the Catholic ethos of the secondary school would be maintained with the proposed move into the Pope Francis MAC.

The consultation period, which ends on July 14, offers the opportunity for parents to raise questions or concerns they may have about the proposed changes.

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Feedback from the consultation will be considered, before being passed to the Department for Education, which would make the final decision.

If decided, the change would go ahead from January 2021, or sooner if appropriate.

Parents would not be required to look for another school for their children as the school sites will not close.

Primary stage pupils would automatically transfer to the new school, as would those in the secondary phase.

However, primary phase pupils would need to apply for a place in the secondary school, rather than being automatically transferred. as is the current situation.

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From September 2022, Catholic pupils would no longer have priority for admission to the primary school, as it would no longer be a Catholic school. Instead, admission would be based on distance from the school.

Changes to the school uniform would be phased and both schools are set to work with parents and carers to minimise costs.

St Gregory’s originally opened as a secondary school in 2003, before becoming an academy and extending its age range in 2013.

The primary school can admit 60 children per year, while the secondary school can admit a further 150 at age 11, making a total of 210 in year seven. The split will not change these numbers.

Anonymised questions and responses will be published on the school website, with a summary of the overall response.

Comments can be submitted until noon on July 14, by completing a response form, and emailed to: