Public Consultation Launched for Proposed Infant and Junior School Merger in Felixstowe

The Seckford Education Trust (SET) has announced it is considering whether or not to merge SET Maidstone and SET Causton Schools in Felixstowe to form one all-through primary school for September 2022. 

A public consultation launched on Monday 21 June and runs until 15 August. Parents, carers and the wider community are encouraged to give their views on the proposed merger and the combined admission arrangements which would be necessary should the schools merge. 

The Trust is also consulting on a proposed reduction in Pupil Admission Numbers for Reception Year from 75 to 45 in recognition of a significant trend in falling pupil numbers in Felixstowe and the region, which mirrors the falling birth rates in the area.

Seckford Education Trust will not make a final decision until the consultation process has been completed. 

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.

Mrs Thompson said: “We encourage parents, carers and anyone interested in our schools to attend one of the virtual or in-person events being held throughout the consultation period of 21st June to 15th August 2021 where they have the opportunity to find out more and ask questions.”

People can give their views on the proposal via an online survey as a written comment handed in at either SET Maidstone or SET Causton reception desk, or by emailing [email protected] with the subject heading ‘SET School Merger’.

Mark Barrow, Chief Executive Officer at Seckford Education Trust, said: “We are looking forward to hearing people’s feedback on whether or not to merge SET Maidstone and SET Causton schools. Should the merger go ahead following the public consultation, the investment in a single school site would bring the two communities closer together and would create one true primary school for pupils age 3 to 11. It could also bring a more seamless transition for pupils from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2, therefore removing the need for an admissions process at this stage.”

For more information about the merger proposal for SET Maidstone and SET Causton schools, and for details on the upcoming events as part of the public consultation, visit https://www.maidstoneandcaustonschool.org.uk/consultation-set-maidstone-set-causton/ or call 01394 283375.

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