Tibshelf school merger plans

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Primary education in Tibshelf could soon be delivered from a single site – meaning that infant and junior pupils are not at separate ends of the village.

The plan follows a six-week consultation on the proposal by Derbyshire County Council from 11 April to 13 May, 2016. Currently the infant school is in High Street and the junior school in Alfreton Road.

It asked residents about the plan to merge the two schools or keep them separate but next to each other, and about selling surplus land on the Tibshelf Community School site to pay for a new school. Of the 12 responses received there were none in favour of leaving the schools on separate sites.

Councillor Jim Coyle, Derbyshire County Council’s member for Children’s Services, said: “We are pleased that the initial consultation received positive responses and we think this proposal will be welcomed by local residents.

“We hope that the Department for Education will approve our plans and that we can then look forward to local children and parents benefiting from primary education on the same site. However, any new building would be subject to the normal planning process and local residents will have a chance to make their views known during a statutory consultation at a later date.”

A new school would be built on surplus playing fields on the site of the former Tibshelf Community School in High Street, next to the infant school, benefiting parents who would have just one drop-off point instead of two for children, and reducing traffic in the area as a result.

The scheme depends on receiving funds from selling part of the old secondary site to invest in the new school buildings. The county council’s Cabinet has formally agreed to ask the Department for Education for a decision on the proposal to sell part of the site and, if that is agreed, the council will hold a further consultation.