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Mar 28 2012

Welldon Park Schools Confirm ‘No Plans to Merge or Consolidate’

Harrow Council’s Cabinet papers for their April 2012 meeting make mention of some school expansion proposals, which we mentioned here, earlier today.

Of particular interest to a lot of parents could be this extract:

27. Officers met with the Headteachers and the Chair of Governors of the two Welldon Park schools, and it was agreed to undertake a site feasibility study into how the schools could be consolidated onto one site, if this fitted with strategic planning at any point, as either two or three forms of entry separate schools. The feasibility study confirmed that there is capacity within the Junior School site for the two schools to be consolidated onto the site either as two form or three form entry schools. The approximate costs of these consolidations would be in the region of £5.7m for a two form of entry school, or £7.2m for a three form of entry school.

Clearly, this had a lot of concerned parents talking, worried that children from both schools would be squashed, sardine-like, onto the Junior school site. Let’s remember also that the cost of expanding both schools to three-form entry would have been in the region of £3.2m – merging the two schools simply doesn’t appear to stack up.

In a letter to parents today, the Chair of Governors for both schools, wrote:

Harrow Council officers have recently considered the possibility of developing both Welldon Park Infants and Juniors on the same site. This was examined as part of the council’s overall strategy for pupil places, school improvement and the free school agenda. The council have made it very clear that there are no current plans or available funding to implement such a scheme. It is important for the council, however, to be able to show that they have considered all options in their future planning. I am aware that some parents may have been under the misapprehension that school amalgamation or rebuilding is being planned and this is not the case. I hope this message will put everyone’s minds at rest.

Obviously, anything could happen in the future, and should a large pot f money be found stashed in the back of one of the filing cabinets at the Civic Centre, we could see all manner of school rebuilds, mergers, new-builds, etc, taking place. But for the time being, it seems that the Welldon Park schools will remain as they are.

Disclosure: the author is a Parent Governor at both of the schools listed above. None of the information in this, or related articles, breaches any confidentiality, and is already in the public domain. For transparency, all sources have been identified.

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