Schools across East Northamptonshire are preparing for the new academic year following the introduction of a new two-tier education system.
Northamptonshire County Council will be investing around £22million in building new facilities, refurbishing buildings and expanding schools in the district to accommodate the changes and the associated increase in pupil numbers.
Work has taken place over the summer holidays at a number of school sites to make temporary arrangements ahead of the completion of building projects.
The move from a three-tier model to a primary and secondary school system in Oundle, Thrapston, Kings Cliffe and the surrounding area was approved last November by the county council cabinet.
The new school model was introduced in order to improve educational outcomes for pupils and introduce a smoother transition for students from Key Stage 1 and 2 (primary) to Key Stage 3 and 4 (secondary).
Prince William School will be welcoming a cohort of Year 7 and 8 for the first time and the developments will allow them to offer a full curriculum and build on their improved A-Level and GCSE results, while the primary schools will welcome Year 5 pupils for the first time.
Cllr Heather Smith, county council deputy leader and Oundle ward councillor, said: “This represents a significant investment in schools in East Northamptonshire and the aim is to ensure pupils get the very best education possible.
“We are funding a significant amount of refurbishment and expansion work at these schools including new classrooms and facilities like new school libraries and improved halls. I’m confident these changes will make a real difference to children’s educational outcomes.”
Cllr Matthew Golby, county council cabinet member for families and education, said: “Pupil performance in East Northamptonshire has been below expectations for a number of years and has, in fact, fallen relative to other parts of the county and nationally.
“Research shows that moving from a three to a two-tier structure can improve pupil performance and ensure greater continuity in children’s education.”
The changes to schools in East Northamptonshire are as follows:
- Prince William School – changes from an upper school for 13 to 18-year-olds to a secondary school for 11 to 18-year-olds. It transfers to Academy status on 1st September and becomes a part of the EMLC Academy Trust.
- Glapthorn – changes from a lower school for four to nine-year-olds to a primary school for four to 11-year-olds
- Kings Cliffe Endowed – changes from a lower to a primary school and moves to new build premises on the Kings Cliffe site of the former Middle School
- Nassington – changes from a lower to a primary school
- Polebrook – changes from a lower to a primary school
- Titchmarsh – changes from a lower to a primary school
- Trinity – changes from a lower to a primary school
- Warmington – changes from a lower to a primary school
- Oundle Primary – changes from a lower to a primary school and moves to Oundle & Kings Cliffe Middle School site
- Thrapston Primary – changes from a lower to a primary school