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Derwent School set to close
With their children at Derwent School, which could merge with nearby Osbaldwick School, are, from the left, Tanya Turpin, Amanda Willis, Louise Quinn and Charlotte Cowling
PLANS have been unveiled to formally close a York primary school and merge it with another school nearby.
“Such an arrangement would require the formal closure of Derwent School as a separately registered school,” said a spokeswoman.
“The decision to move to consultation is in keeping with local parental demand for places and has been made with the needs of children and the local community as the key driver.”
Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters said the closure was another predictable consequence of the “studentification” of Tang Hall, which had seen traditional family homes turned into student lets, reducing the potential number of pupils at local schools, and had already helped lead to the closure of Burnholme School.
The spokeswoman said Carole Torode, the head teacher at Derwent School, was taking planned retirement at the end of this term after making an excellent contribution to the school and, as an interim measure, it had been agreed by the governing bodies that Osbaldwick’s current head, Lesley Barringer, would become the executive head for both schools until next September.
The consultation is expected to start before the end of the calendar year. Decisions will be taken next spring in time for changes to be in place by next September.
One parent with children at Osbaldwick expressed concern at the merger, telling The Press he did not welcome the idea of pupils from Derwent mixing with his children.
Parents of children at Derwent School desribed it as “brilliant.”
They said they would oppose the full closure of the school, but would accept its formal closure as part of a merger scheme.
“It’s more secure than Osbaldwick and has new equipment in the playground, and there’s a family centre,” said Charlotte Cowling, whose children Hollie, six, and Callum, three, attend Derwent.