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Shrewsbury schools merger formally approved

North Shropshire | News | Published:

The merger of two Shrewsbury secondary schools has been formally approved.

The Grange and Sundorne schools in Harlescott will merge to form Shrewsbury Academy.

Geoff Pettengell, executive principal of Shrewsbury Academies Trust, which operates both secondary schools as well as Grange Primary School and the Longlands Primary School in Market Drayton, said he was delighted that the move had been approved by the regional schools commissioner Pank Patel.

He added: "This is great news because it means we can crack on with the next developments in the merger."

A consultation was held earlier this year and the majority of parents, staff and other interested parties from both schools were behind the proposed merger.

Under the scheme there will be one 'super school' serving the north of the town at a location yet to be confirmed.

"Parents, staff and other stakeholders have already given the merger the green light as far as they are concerned," said Mr Pettengell.

"The intention is that the Shrewsbury Academy will eventually be located in brand new purpose-built premises, replacing the 1950s buildings currently occupied by the two secondary schools.

"In the interim period, from September 2016 all Year 7 pupils will start their education at an expanded Sundorne School site, whilst the current Grange students complete their education at their current location in Harlescott.

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"It is all very exciting and I think we are all aware that the next 14 months or so are going to fly by very quickly.

"The rebranding exercise has already begun and we can get various other steps in place to ensure that the merger will take place as smoothly and effectively as possible at the end of next summer."

Mr Pettengell added that an open evening will be held in October at the Sundorne site for those pupils currently in Year 5 and going into Year 6 at the beginning of the next academic year.

He added that the Grange and Longlands primary schools will continue to operate under Shrewsbury Academies Trust after the merger.

The Grange School in Worcester Road was deemed as requiring improvement in its last Ofsted inspection which was held in March 2015. But it was rated as good for the behaviour and safety of its pupils. It had previously been placed in special measures.

Sundorne Secondary School in Corndon Crescent was last inspected by Ofsted in 2011 and had a good rating.

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