UPDATE: As many of you are aware we started the formal process of consultation about expansion to Year 6 in February 2017. We would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation as it allowed us and Bucks County Council to obtain the views of all interested parties. The support we received from the local community and parents/carers for the expansion was overwhelming with 93% of those who responded to the consultation saying they were in favour. Bucks County Council are now in the process of appointing an Architect practice to work up a scheme for the expansion of the school. We will let you know when we have any further information to report.
Expansion of Great Kimble Church of England School from an Infant School (Ages 4-7)
to a Combined Primary School (Ages 4-11)
Great Kimble Church of England School has provided an education for children since 1821 and has existed in a variety of guises over its 196 year history. We are extremely proud of our excellent reputation, Christian ethos and the quality of education we provide. The past 6 years has seen a steady increase in the number of children attending Great Kimble C of E School due to our outstanding provision and popularity with parents. We have also seen a growth in the local population and know our area will be subject to significant housing expansion in the coming decade.
There has long been a parental demand for Great Kimble C of E School to educate children from 4-11 years of age. Although we have close links with a number of schools, for a long time our parents have been faced with difficult choices because we don’t currently provide for Key Stage 2 (children aged 7 – 11) and places are limited in local schools. Unfortunately, due to this situation we begin to lose children at various stages of their education. We lose approximately 4-5 children throughout the academic year as parents try to secure Key Stage 2 places at combined schools.
Taking into account the wishes of our parents and our desire to have a local school for local children, the Governing Body would like to consult to fully assess the possibility of expanding the provision at Great Kimble Church of England School by increasing the age range to Year 6 (Key Stage 2), starting in September 2018. This proposal has the full support of the Governing Body, Bucks County Council and The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.
The proposal to extend our age range to Year 6 has been developed in response to the wishes of our parents who would like the opportunity for their children to stay on and finish their primary education at Great Kimble Church of England School. Becoming a Primary School would offer stability and security for the school and our children.
The expansion proposals will be dependent on securing sufficient capital funding for an additional purpose built space to accommodate additional children in Key Stage 2. We are working with the Local Authority to secure funding for the new build which will provide a hall, capacity for hot school meals and 2 additional classrooms (on the Springwood bungalow site next to the school).
We propose to reduce our annual admission number to 15 in September 2018, enabling our first Year 3 class to start. To be financially viable, classes will eventually be mixed with 15 pupils in each year group, 30 in a mixed year class. The conversion to a primary school will be a gradual process and we envisage that it will take approximately 6 years to reach full capacity. If the proposal is approved the school’s existing junior feeder link schools will remove the feeder link option from September 2018.
It has always been our mission to provide a caring, Christian community where all children are educated to become confident, happy, successful, independent learners. This remains unchanged and is a driving force for the expansion. The proposed expansion will:
- Deliver improved facilities for all our children
- Remove uncertainty for parents, offering educational continuity from ages 4 to 11 years.
- Will increase pupil numbers from 67 to 105.
- Ensure the long term viability of the school.
- Provide greater flexibility and efficiency in the use of staff and other resources.
- Create larger peer groups for pupils to socialise and learn from each other.
- Provide greater financial resilience to changing circumstances e.g. pupil roll fluctuations.
- Deliver improved traffic flow and off road parking for staff.
- Provide greater opportunities for staff development and improved recruitment and retention
To fully consider this proposal and its implications we now need to start which a consultation process to obtain the views of all interested parties. This letter marks the start of this formal process. Bucks County Council will seek planning permission and funding to provide the additional accommodation necessary to enable this expansion to take place. The LA and School will work with the Planning Department at Bucks County Council to draw up appropriate plans to meet the requirements of a combined primary school whilst being sympathetic to the rural nature of our site. If it is agreed to proceed to the second phase of consultation, there will be a public meeting for parents and members of the community to look at these plans and to discuss the proposals with the School, Officers from the County Council and the architects.
We appreciate this letter may raise questions for you and hope that this Question and Answer sheet will provide you with additional information to address the questions you may have. We would welcome your feedback during this formal consultation phase. The deadline in which to respond to the expansion consultation is at 5pm on 31st March. Please send your comments on the response form to: Andrew Tusting from the School’s Commissioning Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or deliver to the school.