Merger of two Luton schools will save money by avoiding duplication of work

Foxdell Infants and Foxdell Junior will become a primary school across the two sites

By Euan Duncan
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 3:48 pm

Two Luton schools, which are part of the same federation and a 12-minute walk from each other, are to become a primary school spread over both sites.

Foxdell Infants and Foxdell Junior are separate schools on the same road in the town's Dallow ward.

Both schools share the same governing body and head teacher, according to a report to the borough council's executive on March 7.

The locations of the two school sites (Google)

The merger means they only have to manage one budget and one inspection," said the report. "Currently leaders have to duplicate their work which has a cost implication.

"In pursuing an amalgamation through the closure of one school and subsequent extension of age range to the other school, the local authority has to follow a statutory process, including a consultation period."

Foxdell Infant School can cater for 270 children, with three forms of entry in each year group, while Foxdell Junior School has a 360-pupil capacity, which also allows for three forms of entry in each year group.

Both these Dallow Road premises belong to and make up the Foxdell Federation, explained the report.

"If approval is given to amalgamate both schools, there'll be 630 places available, still equating to three forms of entry in each year group across both sites.

"The amalgamated school would continue to make use of the accommodation at both sites, with the infants site continuing to cater for reception to year two children and the junior premises for years three to six.

"The advantages of primary schools include:

a cohesive pastoral and educational provision for children throughout their primary years;

improved continuity of learning and development aided by pupils not having to change school at the end of year two;

a single teaching and learning policy supported by a common approach to assessment and the tracking of pupil progress resulting in more consistent

expectations;

better progress from key stage one to key stage two, as a dip in progress, often evident between the end of year two and year three is less pronounced in primary schools than in separate infants and juniors;

improved continuity and consistency for pupils around the curriculum and the school ethos;

and an increased opportunity to share resources and expertise across the foundation stage, key stage one (infant) and key stage two (junior);

and potential benefits in the recruitment and retention of staff.

"The amalgamation would be achieved by closing Foxdell Junior School on March 31st and extending the infant school age range to pupils aged eight to 11," added the report.

"The infant school would expand to become a primary with effect from April 1st.

"A consultation resulted in 15 responses, ten of which were positive. These included five replies from parents highlighting their hope the amalgamation would provide more continuity between both school sites.

"There were two staff responses against the proposal with concerns raised over job security, although no redundancies are anticipated."

Labour Lewsey councillor and portfolio holder for children’s services, families and education, Aslam Khan said: "The reason for this is to create an all-through primary school at the current locations.

"This will mean improved continuity of development and learning, aided by pupils not having to change schools at the end of year two.

"This process would give the school further financial security in the long-term. The fewer pupils a school has, the less money it has to spend. It makes good sense."

The executive unanimously agreed the switch to a primary school.