Second consultation into STARS education reshuffle launched

Richard Burrett, new WSCC cabinet member for education and skills
Richard Burrett, new WSCC cabinet member for education and skills

A second consultation into the organisation of schools in Storrington and the surrounding areas has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

The STARS area, as it is known locally, is the last remaining location in West Sussex where schools are not organised in line with the Key Stages of the National Curriculum.

Across the rest of the county, and most of the country, pupils transfer to secondary schools at the end of Key Stage 2 (11 years old).

An initial public consultation took place earlier this year when parents, schools and local communities were asked to give their views on the approach to education in the area and whether there should be a change to the age at which pupils transfer to secondary schools.

Now a further consultation on specific proposals for each school in the area is being held. The proposals are to:

• Increase the age range from age 4–10 (Year R–Year 5) to become age 4-11 (Year R-Year 6) primary schools with effect from 1 September 2017 at Amberley CE First School, Ashington CE First School, St Mary’s CE First School, Washington, Storrington First School and West Chiltington First School.

• Increase the Published Admission Number from 14 to 15 and increase the age range at Thakeham First School from age 4–10 (Year R–Year 5) to become an age 4-11 (Year R-Year 6) primary school with effect from 1 September 2017 and relocate the school to buildings appropriate for primary phase education in part of the current Rydon Community College campus in Rock Road, Thakeham.

• Close Rydon Community College with effect from 31 August 2017 and open a second site of Steyning Grammar School in part of the current Rydon Community College Campus in Rock Road, Thakeham, providing education provision for the age range 11-12 (Year 7 and Year 8) with effect from 1 September 2017.

The consultation launched today (January 4) and will run until February 12.

A series of public meetings have been arranged:

• Tuesday January 12, from 6-7.30pm at Thakeham First School, The Street, Thakeham RH20 3EP.

• Wednesday January 13 from 6-7.30pm at Rydon Community College, Rock Road, Storrington RH20 3AA.

• Wednesday January 20 from 6-7.30pm at Steyning Grammar School, Shooting Field, Steyning, BN44 3RX.

• Tuesday January 26 from 6-7.30pm at Ashington CE First School, Foster Lane, Ashington RH20 3PG.

Councillor Richard Burrett, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We want to hear people’s views on these proposals and therefore I would urge everyone to take part in this further consultation.

“I am keen to secure a sustainable, long-term education system for children in the Storrington area. I would ask people to read the proposals and give us their considered thoughts on how we can all work together in the best interests of the children.”

People can respond to the consultation online at www.westsussex.gov.uk, by emailing schoolconsultations@westsussex.gov.uk or by picking up a consultation booklet from one of the schools, a local library or at one of the public meetings.

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