Parents asked for views on plans to join three Portsmouth schools

Schools encouraged to sign up to survey

Have your say

THREE schools could merge together in a bid to improve education in Southsea.

Portsmouth City Council is carrying out a consultation with parents and staff at Meon Juniors, Meon Infants and Moorings Way Infant Schools.

If the schools merge, they will remain separate but share some elements, including an executive headteacher and a joint governing body.

Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and education at the council, said: ‘Part of our strategy where possible, when there is an opportunity to minimise transition, is to amalgamate schools.

‘Change is difficult for people but we need to discuss it and find out what the views of parents are.

‘This is about better outcomes for the children.

‘If we have one coherent governing body and headship, we have a consistent group of schools that can rely on each other. Rather than being separate there’s an idea of one for all and all for one.

‘We want people to air their views for and against and then professionally we will discuss it between us about whether this will go forward.

‘This is an opportunity. It’s worked elsewhere. We need to come up with reasons why we wouldn’t want to do this.’

Louise Linscott, headteacher of Meon Juniors who is retiring in April, said from responses received to their school so far, 98 per cent are not in favour of the idea.

‘The fact that I’m leaving and the fact that Moorings Way hasn’t had a full-time head for a number of years is behind the idea,’ she said.

‘The governing bodies have been consulted and here they are not in favour.

‘Our governors feel that this would have an adverse affect on the children’s progress.’

Debbie Van Den Broek, chair of governors at Moorings Way Infant School, said: ‘The staff and the governing put the education and welfare of children at the centre of all aspects of school life.

‘We will continue to do this regardless of the outcome and look forward to working with the council to determine the most appropriate way forward.’

If the proposals went ahead, none of the schools would close. The council is also asking parents for their views on amalgamating the three schools into one all-through primary.

The public consultation runs until April 4.

Staff at Meon Infant School did not want to comment.