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Myers Grove/Wisewood Merger


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PLANS FOR NEW NORTHWEST SCHOOL TO GO AHEAD

After listening to the views of hundreds of people in northwest Sheffield, Sheffield City Council are due to report on the proposed future of Myers Grove and Wisewood schools next week (Wednesday 28 February).

For three months, Sheffield City Council have been consulting with parents, governors, staff and pupils in the communities surrounding Myers Grove and Wisewood Schools over proposals to replace both schools with a brand new school on the site where Myers Grove currently stands.

And, although no-one has proposed a more effective solution to the issue of falling rolls in the areas, Sheffield City Council say that they have learnt a great deal during the consultation programme.

"People have been very clear with us about the issues that worry them," says Cllr Harry Harpham, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services. "We fully understand the concerns that have been raised about travel to school, and we're happy to look into the best ways to address that.

"We have been told by a number of parents that the current catchment areas for local schools won't fit so easily once the new school is in place, and we'll be looking at options for making them a better fit.

"And there are further questions about the proposed 14-19 centre, including where the best location would be and whether it should be part of the new school. We'll be going back to parents and residents to consult further on these issues over the coming months."

Sheffield City Council's Cabinet report, which will be discussed on Wednesday 28 February, makes clear that the consultation did not produce a more effective alternative than the one proposed: to replace both schools in five years time with a brand new school.

"Although some people have suggested to us that we continue to run two schools of smaller sizes, this is just not economically viable, nor will it enable to local authority to attract the investment from Government to do the much needed rebuilding," says Jonathan Crossley-Holland, Executive Director of Children & Young People's Services, Sheffield City Council.

"The infrastructure costs of running a school - buildings, support staff, and so on - are such that smaller schools find that their budget for curriculum development suffer as a result. This means that the students don't have the range and quality of teaching and learning opportunities as they would in a larger school, where proportionally more of the school's budget can be spent directly on the young people.

"A larger school, but still smaller than many in Sheffield, would have more teachers, offer more courses and activities, operate smaller class groups and have better equipment and materials - these are all factors that add up to a better quality of school."

Both Myers Grove and Wisewood Schools are set to take in fewer students over the coming years because the number of children living in their communities is reducing, according to data held by Sheffield City Council and the NHS.

The proposed 1,050 place school would open in 2011, following a competition to decide who would run the new school.

ENDS

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according to todays Sheffield star, there is going to be a special meeting on July 25th to discuss the schools' fate. It is to be held at the Town Hall at 1pm, It is looking into the implications of keeping 2 smaller schools open, although they are warning that it could cost the city £250 million in funding aimed at rebuilding other secondaries across the city. Recommendations are that the merger is still the best option, although another alternative is to have one school based at both the Wisewood and Myers sites. The meeting next week is open to the public. :rolleyes:

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