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Stoke Primary Academy and Allhallows Primary Academy to be merged under plans

ByKatie May Nelson

Two schools in a rural area could merge under a proposal by an academy trust.

Under the plans, Stoke Primary Academy in Allhallows Road, Lower Stoke, could close its doors, and children sent to Allhallows Primary Academy instead.

Parents were sent an email on Friday, May 17 detailing the scheme.

Stoke Primary Academy in Allhallows Road, Lower Stoke. Image: Google Streetview(11038488)
Stoke Primary Academy in Allhallows Road, Lower Stoke. Image: Google Streetview(11038488)

Both schools have been part of the Leigh Academies Trust since January.

Local councillors have rallied against the plans, and a meeting is to be held at Stoke Village Hall this Wednesday at 7pm.

Cllr Mick Pendergast (Independent) for Peninsula ward said: “The full, three-page consultation was sent out to parents on the Friday afternoon at 4pm when no one was around to respond.

Medway Councillor Mick Pendergast (6795464)
Medway Councillor Mick Pendergast (6795464)

“It will rip the heart out of the village. There’s no pre-school at Allhallows; this is a place with no footpaths and they are expecting mums to walk along the road.

“I saw shock horror on Friday, but we have calmed it down now.”

Consultation continues until Thursday, June 20.

A statement from the Leigh Academies Trust said: “Location on the Allhallows Primary Academy site will offer the best space and opportunity for development of the academy.

“Regrettably the building and grounds at the Stoke site present a number of operational challenges which prevent the creation of a larger, more modern learning environment for our pupils.

“Being located on a single site will allow the school’s leadership team, which currently operates across both academies, to work more closely with pupils and staff to enhance the quality of education further, as well as be more easily engaged with parents/carers.

“In addition, current academy resources and services will be utilised more effectively, creating important educational advantages for all pupils.”

The statement confirmed a new nursery would be built, and the number of primary places would stay at 30 in each year group - the same as now across both schools, with the possibility of doubling that, subject to demand.

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