Update On The Consultation On The Proposed Merger
The Seckford Education Trust (SET) is today thanking parents, carers, stakeholders, and the wider community for engaging in their recent public consultation, which ran from 21st June to 15th August.
The consultation encouraged the community to give their views on the proposed merger of SET Maidstone and SET Causton Schools in Felixstowe to form one all-through primary school for September 2022 and the combined admission arrangements which would be necessary should the schools merge.
Head of School, Mrs Lucy Thompson, said: “It was very important to us that we got feedback from the whole community, as so many different people are involved in the lives of our children – from parents and carers to after-school clubs and young people’s charities.
“We are grateful for their positive response to the merger, not just via the online survey but during conservations I had in person or over zoom sessions too. It gave us the opportunity to really listen to their questions and any concerns but we’re confident that they have been addressed robustly”.
The online survey received almost 100 responses with 53% of responses in favour of the proposed merger going ahead. Of the SET Maidstone parents and carers who submitted an online response, 57% were in favour of the proposed merger. They felt that the merger would provide more opportunities for SET Maidstone students and remove the need for unnecessary transition.
One response said: ‘I think it would streamline the school years and possibly remove any anxiety for children if they are not seen as two separate schools as such.’ Additionally, 12 parents, 5 stakeholders and 55 members of the community emailed questions/comments or attended the consultation events hosted at the schools and online during the consultation.
The main concerns raised about the merger include how the school will manage extra traffic, how the students in the Special Education Unit will be supported, and how the small school feel will be maintained. These concerns have been addressed by the Trust in letters to parents, carers and stakeholders which were sent out earlier this month.
Seckford Education Trust is confident it can address the questions raised during the consultation and it has therefore decided to proceed with its application to the Regional Schools Commissioner for the proposed merger.
If the Trust Board decides to go ahead with the proposal SET Maidstone, an infant school for pupils aged 3 to 7, would close and all pupils would join SET Causton, currently a junior school for ages 7 to 11. The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Unit at SET Maidstone would also be relocated to SET Causton. Both schools, run by the Seckford Education Trust, are less than 350 meters from each other on Maidstone Road in Felixstowe and were originally built to accommodate much larger pupil numbers than they have now.
SET Maidstone and SET Causton schools are already managed together as one school by Head of School Lucy Thompson.
Once a response has been received from the Regional Schools Commissioner an update will be posted on the SET Maidstone and SET Causton Proposed Merger page