School Closures Tomorrow

Pershore Education Planning Area Review

Why do we need to review the Pershore education planning area?

Changes to schools in the Pershore education planning area over several years has led to uncertainty and sustainability concerns across the education planning area.

In September 2019 three first schools in the Pershore area were approved to change to primary schools by the Regional Schools Commissioner along with Pershore High School to create an option for a two-tier system of education for families.

The creation of additional places in years 5, 6 and 7 as a result of the approved changes has resulted in a forecast level of surplus places in these year groups. By 2023 we anticipate that two of the middle schools in the area will be operating at around 50% capacity, which creates significant difficulty to provide key stage 3 (Year 7, ages 10 to 11) curriculum in particular.

Over the last two years, we have seen parents in the Pershore area choosing a Primary and Secondary (two-tier system) education in their school admissions applications, with an increasing percentage choosing to remain at already converted primary schools and a number choosing to transfer from first to primary schools.

This creates a risk to ensuring clear and quality education journeys for pupils.

Ultimately, this transition is being undertaken because we want to ensure:

  • every child has a clear and transparent education journey
  • schools are supported to deliver good education outcomes in a stable and known education system
  • schools are able to deliver a full curriculum and remain sustainable and financially viable

During 2020/21 Worcestershire Children First (WCF) has facilitated engagement with education stakeholders including all schools in the pyramid; Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) CEOs; the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC); and the Diocese to find agreed solutions to manage this risk within the education planning area.

In July 2021 all of the schools’ governing bodies and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) confirmed their agreement / intentions to consult on the proposed change to a two-tier Education Planning area, seek changes of age range (where necessary) and in the instance of the Middle Schools amalgamate with the First Schools.

The transition to a fully two-tier education system in the Pershore education planning area was considered by Cabinet in September 2021. For more information see agenda and minutes.