Plans to amalgamate two Worthing schools are progressing in a move that will help to secure a sustainable future for primary education in the borough.
Declining pupil numbers mean that around 1,500 primary school places are currently unfilled, which makes it difficult for schools to make best use of staffing and resources.
At their request, West Sussex County Council has been working with schools leaders to resolve the issue and recently asked local people for views on amalgamating Chesswood Junior School and Lyndhurst Infant School.
No new information or evidence was raised during the four-week feedback period and so Assistant Director for Education & Skill Paul Wagstaff has taken the decision to proceed as planned.
The plan will see the creation of a new all-through primary school on the Chesswood Road site for 60 Published Admission Number (PAN) Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 pupils, along with 120 PAN Key Stage 2 pupils, and a 21-place Special Support Centre, with effect from 1 September 2024, and to discontinue the use of Lyndhurst Infant School from 31 August 2024.
A temporary governing board for the all-through primary school will be established from existing Chesswood and Lyndhurst governors, seeking an equal number from both, together with an independent governor who, it is anticipated, will chair. The board will appoint a headteacher for the new school.
Together with the County Council, they will work to ensure all children, particularly the youngest, are prepared and ready to join in September 2024.
Read the decision details in full.
Cllr Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Learning & Skills said: “Ensuring our children have access to the best possible learning environments in which to fulfil their potential remains at the heart of this project, and so I’d like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to have their say. The plan to amalgamate Chesswood Junior School and Lyndhurst Infant School is part of a project that will help to secure a sustainable future for primary education in Worthing and create extra capacity to support children with special educational needs and disabilities. It’s the result of many months of hard work together with the community and school leaders to find the solution for reducing the number of unfilled places, work that will continue over the coming year.”