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Schools' future under the spotlight

THE future of two Rainham schools comes under the microscope at a meeting tonight.

Councillors will discuss what is to happen to Meredale Infants School and Wakeley Junior School following public consultation.

The consultation period was organised because pupil numbers at both schools are going down.

Six options were put forward: take no action, leave Meredale open and close Wakeley Juniors, establish a new primary school on the Meredale site and close both schools and establish a new primary school on the Wakeley site and close both schools.

The fifth option was to federate the two schools, which would mean they would have their own budgets but a single governing body which would appoint a single head for both schools.

The sixth option was to keep the two schools as separate infant and junior schools on the Wakeley site.

Medway Council asked the views of the public during April and May and found that the most popular option was to establish a new primary school and close both schools, a solution favoured by 58 per cent of people.

A total of 380 people signed a petition calling for the schools to be amalgamated to form a primary school on the Meredale site.

But a number of people said that Wakeley's accommodation is better than Meredale's as the classrooms are larger, there is a new computer suite, library, swimming pool and large grounds.

Members of the council's youth and education overview and scrutiny committee are due to come up with a preferred option at the meeting tonight, which will be held in the pavilion at Rainham School for Girls in Derwent Way. But the final decision will be made by the council Cabinet.

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