Doncaster primary school closure plans revealed

Plans have been drawn up to close a Doncaster primary school and move its pupils to bigger schools nearby.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 3:17 pm

Astrea Academy Trust says it is starting consultation over closing Hillside Academy, in Denaby Main, with pupils moving to neighbouring schools operated by the same organisation, before the end of the school year.

The trust has run the school since taking it over in 2016.

In a statement issued today, Astrea said Hillside Academy, on Crags Road, has been a very small school with a dwindling number of pupils for many years now.

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A consultation will take place over the plans

The added: “To ensure that children get the best possible education, the trust is proposing that pupils transfer to either Castle Academy or Denaby Main Primary Academy, both of which are very nearby.

“Moving pupils to nearby Astrea Schools will mean they will benefit from a wider curriculum and opportunities that simply are not possible to provide in a very small school. Astrea has made clear to parents that their son or daughter is guaranteed a place at either Castle Academy, or Denaby Main Primary Academy.

“Over the last 18 months, Hillside and Castle have been developing close links involving both pupils and staff. This has meant that Hillside pupils have been able to take part in activities that would not otherwise have been possible at Hillside, due to the lack of resources there.”

Astrea says that although the closure is proposed for the end of the school year, if parents would prefer to move their children to Castle Academy or Denaby Main Academy earlier than that, then they can do so after the Easter holidays.

Hillside Academy, Denby Main. PIcture: Google

Parents will be given information about both schools to help them decide which one they think might be the right school for them.

The consultation on the proposal will run until March 8, with a formal decision then being taken by the Secretary of State for Education.

If the closure is given the go ahead, the closure would take place over the summer holidays.

The school is currently classed as requiring improvement by Ofsted, following its last inspection in June 2019.

But inspectors praised it for good leadership and management; good personal development, behaviour and welfare; and for its good early years provision.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.