GOVERNMENT ministers will have the final say on any proposals to expand Pershore High School to include year seven pupils, the town’s MP has revealed.
Harriett Baldwin wrote to the Department for Education to seek clarification on the consultation plans which were revealed by Pershore High School last year.
The Station Road school is seeking views from local parents and schools on possibly extending the school’s age range to include year seven pupils, aged 11 and 12.
Currently, youngsters at middle schools in the town transfer to the school when they reach year eight – usually at the age of 13-years-old.
But under the proposals being suggested by Pershore High School, pupils who reach year seven in September 2016 would move schools a year earlier.
Further options including delaying any move until September 2018 or scrapping the proposals altogether and retaining the current system.
Schools Minister David Laws wrote to Mrs Baldwin and said any change ‘where the majority of parents are strongly opposed’ would not be approved nor would any proposal which ‘disrupts the educational provision for a whole area’.
Mr Laws confirmed that the school must complete a formal consultation, which usually takes two academic years, before seeking to expand the school’s intake and must secure the support of local parents, local stakeholders, other schools in the pyramid and the local authority.
“I am grateful for the parents who have contacted me and everyone who has already participated in the consultation to get the widest possible views,” Mrs Baldwin said.
“I have also met with both the local middle school heads and Pershore High School’s head to discuss this matter.
“I will be passing the advice from the Minister to everyone who has contacted me about this issue,” she added.
The consulation concludes on Febraury 13, local parents can have their say by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org