Following an extensive consultation period, Northamptonshire County Council has approved plans to switch to a two-tier education system, meaning children will move directly to secondary school at the end of the primary school education. The changes will be implemented for the start of the 2015 school year.
The Oundle and Kings Cliffe Middle School will close as a middle school, and will be adapted as a primary school for Reception to Year 6.
In the first year Oundle Primary School will operate from both its current site on Milton Road, and from the Middle School site on Cotterstock Road. During this first transition year, the Middle School will see a significant spike in its enrolment from 260 to 450 pupils, requiring six to seven additional classrooms.
By 2016 all primary classes will relocate to the Cotterstock site, and enrolment will settle back to 380, with 60 pupils per year group. The site will require four additional permanent classrooms.
Other primary schools in the area will also have to adapt to the changes. Polebrook Primary will
introduce Years 5 and 6 to the school and increase pupil numbers from 46 to 76 by 2016. The county council has pledged to remodel and extend classroom and library space.
Glapthorn Primary School will also see an increased enrolment from 68 to 98 in 2016, requiring at least one additional classroom. Nassington will need two new classrooms to accommodate 30 new pupils, for a total of 119, one of which will replace a mobile unit currently in use.
Prince William School will need to manage the most significant change in 2015 when it admits the additional intake of 501 pupils transferring as Years 7 and 8 from the two middle schools.
There will be temporary accommodation in the first year, but the master plan will provide additional permanent classrooms, including replacing all the current mobile units.
Parents with children in Thrapston schools were strongly opposed to the changes. They will see the King John Middle School closed and managed as an enlarged Thrapston Primary School with an increased enrolment from 389 to 569 pupils.