Have your say on proposals to amalgamate two Worthing schools

Proposals have been outlined for the amalgamation of Chesswood Junior School and Lyndhurst Infant School.

People now have the chance to have their say on proposals to amalgamate a junior school and an infant school in Worthing as part of work to reduce the number of surplus places.

Declining pupil numbers mean that around 1,500 primary school places are currently unfilled in the borough, which makes it difficult for schools to plan and make best use of staffing and resources.

West Sussex County Council has been working for many months with school leaders in the area at their request to resolve the issue.

The decision to amalgamate Chesswood Junior School and Lyndhurst Infant School was made on the basis of strong public support for this option during an eight-week consultation.

The County Council is now in a position to outline the proposed details of the decision and seek feedback from the community.

The proposals as outlined in the notices are:

to significantly change the character of Chesswood Junior School to allow the opening of an all-through primary school for 60 Published Admission Number (PAN) Key Stage 1 pupils and 120 PAN Key Stage 2 pupils, together with a 21 place Special Support Centre, with effect from 1 September 2024
to discontinue Lyndhurst Infant School with effect from 31 August 2024.
The changes would come into effect from September 2024 and links to full details of the proposal can be found in the ‘Have your say’ section below.

Have your say

From today for a period of four weeks, the County Council is seeking feedback on the proposals.

Anyone may make representation of further new comments on the proposals, though please note comments cannot be a repeat of information or views already provided in the previous consultation that ran from November 2022 to January this year.

Details of the proposal can be found on our Your Voice webpages here.

Copies of the proposal can also be requested by writing to: Tracey Dunn, Schools Planning Officer, West Sussex County Council, Ground Floor, Northleigh, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1RH.

You can make further comments on the proposals by emailing schoolconsultations@westsussex.gov.uk or via post at the address above.

The deadline for providing feedback is 18 May 2023.

Helping pupils fulfil their potential

Amalgamating Chesswood Junior and Lyndhurst Infant schools will reduce the number of surplus places by around 330.

This is in addition to the previous decision to reduce admission numbers at six other schools in the borough by 623, also due to take effect from September 2024.

The County Council will also continue to explore options to create a new eight-place Special Support Centre at either Downsbrook Primary or Whytemead Primary schools, to provide additional places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

A County Council spokesperson said: “The project to re-organise and improve primary school provision across the Worthing borough represents months of hard work with schools and the local community to develop solutions to the issue of declining pupil numbers. We remain on track to reducing the number of unfilled places as swiftly as possible and ensure we maintain the best possible learning environments in which our children can fulfil their potential.”