SPALDING’S Gleed Boys’ School could be threatened with closure within three years unless a merger goes ahead with neighbouring Gleed Girls’ Technology College.
Falling exam results and a projected decline in the number of students attending the school by 2014 could mean it would no longer be deemed educationally and financially viable by the Department for Education.
The stark message is part of a consultation document on proposals for Spalding’s two secondary modern schools to join forces in a move which it is hoped would secure their futures as well as provide a wider choice of subjects for students, attract better teachers and cut costs.
Initially the consultation period was to gauge opinion on the merger as well as plans for the joined schools to become an academy, but the two processes will now be separated with a second consultation to be launched on the academy plan later in the year.
On Wednesday staff were given a chance to air their views behind closed doors, before parents and other interested members of the public had their say to headteachers of both schools and representatives of Lincolnshire County Council.
Geoff Cowley, headteacher of the Gleed Boys’, said: “We had about 30 people there, which wasn’t as many as we had hoped, but it went well and there was an understanding that we have to change.
“People were largely supportive and there is an acceptance of how we aim to make our merger unique – we want to merge as one school but maintain single sex education.
“I feel very positive about the proposal because it is the right thing to do for everyone concerned.”
Janet Daniels, headteacher of the Gleed Girls’ Technology College, said the staff meeting threw up some concerns, although generally teachers understood the need to change.
She said it was too early to give concrete answers about jobs, although a letter sent out to parents said all staff from both schools would automatically be employed, although there would only be one governing body and one headteacher.
She added: “At the general meeting, a few parents did raise concerns about a single school being co-educational but we still intend to keep many classes single sex so I think it would combine the best of both worlds.
“The Government is very keen to ensure schools are not too small and the boys’ school is just at that edge and could be affected. We know there is going to be pressure on education and as there are fewer pupils coming through we think a merger will protect our schools going forward.”