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23 July 2013, 11:21
Portsmouth's education chief has given the go-ahead for the first all-through school in the city to open in September 2014.
The decision by the council's Cabinet member for Children and Education, Cllr Rob Wood, on 18 July will make Mayfield School in North End an all-through school for children aged 4 to 16.
The approval follows a formal statutory period ended on Saturday 13 July. Earlier approval had been given by the governing body of the school to further develop plans for the secondary school to accept children of primary and secondary age.
A new two-form Reception Year for 60 pupils from September 2014 will grow to a 420 place primary school over a seven year period. The new school will operate with a single vision, value, staff and governing body.
The new all-through school will build upon the current achievements of Mayfield School but seek to offer early access to specialist staff in Foreign Languages, Performing Arts and Sport, giving pupils a head start in these areas.
Earlier this year, the council approved an investment of £1.8m to transform existing space at the school and develop provision for primary age pupils. Subject to consultation, these improvements would be carried out in two phases and be completed by 2015.
Councillor Rob Wood, said:
"Portsmouth welcomes its first all-through school.
"I am excited that pupils from the age of four will soon be able to take advantage of all that Mayfield School and an all-through school has to offer."
Chair of Governors, Bruce Marr, said:
"The governing body of the school are delighted at the outcome of the consultation and of the decision by Cllr Rob Wood to press ahead with this important project. We will be working very closely with officers from Portsmouth City Council to ensure that this project comes in on time and on budget."
Headteacher, David Jeapes, said:
"We are very excited about the increased opportunities that this project will bring to families in the North of the City. We are looking forward to building on the success of our pre-school which was recently inspected by Ofsted and found to be ‘outstanding’.
"We will aim to offer a higher level of consistency for pupils throughout their time at school and remove the need for them to change school between key stages, which can often bring a dip in performance.
"Pupils will also be able to have greater opportunities to access all areas of the curriculum and work across the key stages and support each other.
"We will be holding our open day on Wednesday 3 October for entry into our new Infant School. Full details about the school and the open day can be found on our website."