Greneway, Roysia and Meridian schools to remain on three sites for 2018/19 year

PUBLISHED: 16:04 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 17 April 2018

Archant

The proposed Royston schools merger will not happen this September, the Royston Schools Academy Trust has announced in a letter to parents today.

Alan Davidson, Carol Boston and Laura Rawlings on the RSAT panel at a meeting with parents last year.Alan Davidson, Carol Boston and Laura Rawlings on the RSAT panel at a meeting with parents last year.

Instead, Roysia and Greneway middle schools and Meridian School and its sixth form centre will remain as three separate sites with a view to merging in September 2019.

Under the proposals, Roysia and Meridian sixth form centre was set to close this summer and the Garden Walk site – where Greneway and Meridian schools are currently – would be the location of the new through school.

The reason RSAT has cited for the change is that approval hasn’t come through for the plans, which were submitted to the Department for Education five months ago.

A decision was intially expected at the beginning of 2018, but is still outstanding.

New Royston headteacher Gordon Farquhar.New Royston headteacher Gordon Farquhar.

In the letter to parents from RSAT chair Cartol Boston, and current Greneway and Roysia head Laura Rawlings – who is the transformation lead for the merger – it states: “As you will recall, the process of merging the three schools needed approval by the Department for Education as it is classed as a ‘significant change’.

“Unfortunately, we are having to alter our plans as the DfE have not yet approved the plans we submitted five months ago, as required under their guidelines.

“Without this approval RSAT has decided that it is in the best interests of our students to continue to run high quality education at all three sites for the next academic year.

“Our long term plans have not changed: the plan is still to create one through-school that will provide a platform to drive continued quality education in a financially sustainable manner.”

The set up for the 2018/19 year will be:

● Year 5 to 8 on Roysia site (Year 5 – one form of entry)

● Year 5 to 8 on Greneway site (Year 5 – five forms of entry)

● Year 9 to 13 on Meridian site

● Current school uniforms continue

Current head of Saffron Walden-based Joyce Frankland Academy, Gordon Farquhar, will be the new RSAT headteacher of the three schools from September 2018, as RSAT “continues to implement changes to staffing and evolve governing bodies to provide the infrastructure for education to thrive”.

RSAT said that Mr Farquhar will hold parents’ forums so that parents/carers of children have an opportunity to meet him, and find out more about next academic year. The first of these is on Saturday, April 21, for parents/carers of children in Year 4 to 7. Meetings for upper school parents will be confirmed after the exam window has closed in June.

Mr Farquhar said: “I am delighted to be working alongside pupils, parents, staff and governors and I believe, together, we can forge outstanding opportunities and experiences for the young people of our town, both now and in the future.”

The letter concluded by saying that RSAT is “committed to providing excellent education in Royston and appreciate the feedback and support of the local community”.

The Crow has spoken to new head Gordon Farquhar about the RSAT announcement and what this means for students going forward, which you can read in this week’s edition out Thursday.

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