Statutory consultation to go ahead on proposed amalgamation of Peel Common Infant and Junior Schools in Rowner, Gosport

Hampshire County Council will open a statutory consultation on 1 March 2024 on the proposed amalgamation of Peel Common Nursery and Infant School, and Peel Common Junior School in Rowner, Gosport. Councillor Edward Heron, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Children’s Services, approved the decision to formally consult on the schools' proposed amalgamation at his Decision Day on Tuesday, 20 February

Feb 20 2024

The decision follows an informal four-week public consultation in winter 2023 which gathered initial feedback on the proposal to amalgamate the two schools. This consultation was undertaken at the request of both schools’ governing bodies which have raised growing concerns about low pupil numbers and the associated impacts on the schools’ respective finances, educational standards, and ongoing viability.

The proposed amalgamation, if finally agreed, would be achieved by closing the infant and nursery school and extending the age range of the junior school to become a primary school with a nursery unit, catering for children aged three to 11 years. The new primary school would accommodate one class of 30 pupils per year group and would operate under one governing body.

Councillor Heron said: “Thank you to those who shared their views on the proposed amalgamation of the two schools during the informal public consultation phase. Having thoroughly reviewed and considered the feedback received, and the challenging position currently facing both schools, I believe that a formal consultation is now a sensible and necessary next step.

“I know of course that there are many views on the proposed amalgamation, particularly given that this would mean the closure of the infant school and accordingly, an extension in the number and age range of children taught at the junior school. I strongly encourage all those with children currently at either school, as well as school staff and members of the local community, to have their say in the upcoming formal consultation. Their views will form a vital part of any final decisions taken.”

Following the decision to formally consult on the proposed amalgamation, the consultation will open on 1 March 2024 for four weeks. The County Council will write directly to parents and school staff in due course to confirm details of the consultation.

The proposal to merge the two schools follows a decline in pupil numbers in recent years, resulting in significant budget pressures. An amalgamation could provide a stronger financial position, staffing structure and settled pupil numbers. It could also bring greater continuity in terms of how the curriculum is delivered and a more consistent approach to children’s learning, while removing the need for transition between Year 2 in the infant school to Year 3 in the junior school. 

Should a final decision be made to merge the two schools, this would come into effect on 1 January 2025. The school would continue to offer 30 places for children entering Reception Year.

For full details, view the Decision Report on the County Council’s website.