Troubled school will close in shake-up

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A city school which was blasted by education inspectors is set to close - a year after being placed in special measures.

Deepdale Junior School in Preston, was rated inadequate by OFSTED in three out of four key areas. - while the fourth area, behaviour and safety of pupils, required improvement.

Among major concern was frequent staff changes, which were blamed for a decline in classroom standards.

Although an associate headteacher was appointed to steer the school, the education authority now wants to close the junior school and expand the adjoining Deepdale Infant School to form a primary school for three to 11 year olds.

The schools are currently completely separate establishments, with their own staff and governing bodies.

The Infant school though, was rated Good by Ofsted and received high praise for several areas.

County Hall chiefs have been locked in talks with governors form both school in to try to help drive up standards at the junior school.

Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said most of the children moved up to the junior school and after a public consultation it was decided that merger was the best option to provide continuity of education.

He added: “Under the proposals, Deepdale Infant School would become a primary school with a capacity for 630 pupils from January 1 2015.”

The age range for the pupils would be extended from catering for three to seven year olds to youngsters up to the age of 11.

Coun Tomlinson said: “We have considered the responses to the consultation and will now publish Statutory Notices As Deepdale Infant School is performing well, I accepted advice that it should remain open and that Deepdale Junior School should close. We have since received support for this proposal from both schools’ governing bodies.”