We are proposing changes for South Huddersfield schools

We are putting forward proposals that will strengthen education offered in Almondbury and the surrounding area.

How will the changes benefit the children?

Changes will help children and young people access the highest possible standards of care and education and is seeking the views of local people.

When will the changes start?

At Cabinet on Tuesday 19 March, a proposal will be considered for a consultation into the suggested changes.

What schools will be affected?

The proposals will mainly affect Almondbury Community School (ACS) with minor changes at King James’s School and Newsome High School.

ACS is an ‘all-through’ school for children aged from three to 16 years (including nursery) and the main proposal is to change the age range at Almondbury Community School so it caters only for children aged from three to 11 years.

This would mean removing the secondary phase of the school over a period of time still to be determined (but not before summer 2020). Almondbury Community School would remain open as a primary school, serving local children and families.

What was found in recent Ofsted reports?

The number of pupils at Almondbury Community School has been reducing over recent years, while a recent Ofsted report said the school was ‘inadequate’ and required ‘Special Measures’. The new proposals aim to address some of these issues.

What will happen next?

Work is ongoing to make improvements, but decisions are needed on whether Almondbury Community School is sustainable in the long term and whether it is in the community’s best interests for the school to continue in its current form.

What will happen to the children that currently attend the school?

At present, a total of approximately 300 pupils attend the secondary phase (which covers Year 7 to Year 11) and this means half of the available places are not taken. This number of pupils could be accommodated at secondary schools King James’s and Newsome if adjustments were made and extra places created at King James’s.

In addition, the places at Almondbury Community School (up to and including Year six) are also under-subscribed so it’s proposed to gradually reduce the number of primary places available to 210 across the school because they already have a place and could remain until end of Year six. There would be enough places to meet demand across the borough’s schools.

Cllr Masood Ahmed, Cabinet member for Learning and Aspiration, said:
“One of Kirklees Council’s key priorities is to deliver first class education and care to our young people. Our proposals aim to address some of the issues highlighted in the recent Ofsted report and we want to hear the views of parents, carers and the wider community.

We want all children to have the best start in life and to fulfil their potential. Ensuring they can access high standards of education is central to those ambitions.

No decisions have been made about the possible changes. Our aim is to develop standards whilst ensuring there are still enough primary and secondary places.”

One comment

  • The suggestions for the Fernside Avenue site are inadequate. It is the opportune time to see reality and get King James’s School away from their totally inadequate site with it’s very dangerous pedestrian accessibility, difficult transport access and associated traffic nuisances. Establish a superb facility on the Almondbury Community School site to serve the localities into the foreseeable future. The KJ name and history can be retained and acknowledged ad infinitum but the present site should be ‘sensitively’ sold off for development with a robust traffic plan that removes the farce around the Fenay Lane/St Helen’s Gate junction. The proceeds could then be protected/ring-fenced for the developments needed at Fernside Avenue. There will be loads of selfish opposition from the KJS ranks, Old Boy’s network, ‘Academy blight’ etc etc etc but it’s time to make a stand for the betterment of education for all local children- which Kirklees Council should have done many years ago instead of running two high schools in one village.

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