Weaverham Forest Primary School consultation

Closing date: 14 March 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council is consulting on a proposal to permanently increase the age range of Weaverham Forest Primary School, Forest Street, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 3EY from 4-11 years of age to 2-11 years of age from September 2021.

Why is there a proposal to increase the age range of Weaverham Forest Primary School?

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council (the Council) has been requested by the Governing Body of Weaverham Forest Primary School (the Governing Body) to permanently increase the age range of the school to enable the nursery provision established on a temporary basis in November 2019 to be made permanent.

The proposal will enable the school to continue to provide full-time qualified teacher-led teaching, learning and developmental activities to two- and three-year olds, including those with an entitlement to early years education. The Governing Body believes making an early years offer in this way helps enhance children’s future learning as they progress smoothly into statutory education and through the school. The School believes the introduction of this provision has helped strengthen relationships with parents at the earliest opportunity.

Through the levels of attendance achieved since its temporary establishment parents have demonstrated their support for this provision. There are currently 33 children in attendance, this is forecast to rise to 37 children during the Summer Term when the number of children with an early years education entitlement reaches its maximum number.

Where will the provision be made?

The school will continue to use the accommodation currently being used within the school for the purpose of providing early years education.

Will any building work be required to accommodate the younger children?

The school have not advised of any additional building work being required to permanently establish this provision.

How many pre-school children will be admitted and will this mean reducing the number of pupils admitted to the school as a consequence?

The Governing Body proposes to continue to admit up to 8 two-year olds and 24 three and four- year olds to attend 10 sessions running over 5 days per week during the 38-week academic year. The permanent establishment of nursery education will not impact upon the capacity of the school to deliver education to children of school age.

The consultation process - indicative timeline

8 February - 14 March 2021

Informal public consultation period

2 - 4 March 2021

Opportunity for parents/carers, staff, pupils, governors, stakeholders and interested parties to book Microsoft Teams meeting with Council and School representatives.

April 2021

The Director of Education and Inclusion decides whether to progress the proposal to formal consultation.

April - May 2021

If agreed by the Director, a Public Notice will be published in a local newspaper, displayed at the school and published on the Council's website. During this time 'representations' can be made in response to the proposal. This period of formal consultation will run for four weeks.

June - July 2021

All responses to the informal consultation and any representations received during the formal consultation will be considered by the decision-maker and will inform the decision whether to approve the proposal.

September 2021

The earliest date that a permanent increase in age range of the school could be implemented if the proposal is agreed.

How can I give my views?

There are a number of ways to give us your views on this proposal:

  • Complete the online survey
  • schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
  • Write to: School Organisation Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, (Nicholas House, Floor 3), 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE. Alternatively, you may hand your response form in at the school. All written responses need to be received by midnight on Sunday 14 March 2021.
  • A virtual face-to-face meeting using Microsoft Teams for parents/carers, members of staff, governors and other interested parties can be booked at a time and date to be agreed from Tuesday 2 March to Thursday 4 March 2021, where there will be the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to a Council Officer and if requested a representative of the school. If you would like to take up the opportunity please email schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk no later than 22 February 2021.

What happens next?

This stage of consultation stage closes at midnight on Sunday 14 March 2021. A report summarising the responses received during this consultation period will be submitted to the Director of Education and Inclusion who will decide whether to proceed with the proposal and move to publish statutory proposals in the form of a public notice to be published in a local newspaper. For a period of four weeks following the publication date any person can comment on the proposals. Having considered all responses a final decision will be made by the Cabinet Member for Children and Families whether to approve the proposal.

Please note:

We welcome views from all sections of the community and would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation. Note that the Council has a responsibility to make sure that its services are available to all, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief or sexual identity. Comments that are offensive to particular groups or considered inappropriate under the Equality Act 2010 will not be considered or published as part of this consultation.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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