Decision due today on town schools’ merger

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A DECISION is due today on the proposed merger of Spalding’s two Gleed schools.

Under the plans to be considered by Lincolnshire County Council executive, the Gleed Boys’ School and Gleed Girls’ Technology College would become the Sir John Gleed School, providing mixed sex classes for some year groups.

It is hoped that by joining forces educational standards could be improved, a wider curriculum offered and the school’s future secured at a time when pupil numbers are expected to fall.

Girls’ school headteacher Janet Daniels, who will become head of the merged schools, said: “The merger is an exciting opportunity to provide a new educational choice in the area with the first co-educational school in Spalding.

“Working with the local authority we will be able to revamp our existing facilities and the larger numbers of students mean there will be a wider range of learning opportunities for them.”

Mrs Daniels said, if the merger is given the go-ahead today, most of the changes will happen behind the scenes and during school holidays to ensure minimum disruption to students’ studies.

The school will continue to run as a boys’ campus and a girls’ campus for the rest of this academic year.

After that, 11 to 14-year-old pupils would continue to be taught in single-sex classes with option groups for 14 to 16-year-olds becoming mixed classes to allow for a greater breadth of opportunity for students.

It is likely core subjects for older pupils will continue to be taught in single-sex classes.

The council will receive a recommendation to agree the merger, following wide consultation with students, parents and other interested groups.

Members will be told the proposal would stave off some of the problems predicted for the future of both schools if they were to remain independent of each other, such as falling numbers on roll due to demographic trends, increasing pressure on standards of pupil attainment, recruitment and retention of high quality teaching and leadership staff, as well as financial stability.

It is hoped the decision will pave the way for the newly-joined school to become an academy in the near future.

The schools will hear the council’s decision during an event to mark their 70th anniversary.

Mrs Daniels said: “There is a real sense of pride as we look back on the successes of the past 70 years and excitement as we look forward to a very modern learning environment for the future.”