Phase 1 consultation on whether to merge Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior School for September 2021

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As the parents of the school will be aware Chalkwell Hall Junior School has a current Headteacher vacancy and interim arrangements are in place. As is usual, when there is an Infant and Junior school on the same site, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is seeking your views on a way forward.

There is the option to remain as two separate schools or to create one Primary School for pupils aged 5-11, by bringing together Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior School.

This is the first phase of the process where we are asking you for your initial views. You will see from the attached timeline that there are several steps that we would need to go through before a decision can be made and we will be consulting on each stage of the process.

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. The following information is provided by the Government to:

  • governing bodies
  • local authorities
  • decision makers

They describe opening, closing, or making school organisation changes to local-authority-maintained schools. They set out how we can make those changes, and the areas where we must follow a statutory process.

This guidance is based on:

The first phase of the consultation closes 13th November 2020.

To find out more about the schools and why we are considering this, please see the ‘More information about this consultation’ button below next to the survey tab.

To take the survey please click the 'Take Survey' button below.

If you would like to take the survey in a different way e.g. a paper copy or you have a question about the consultation please email: servicesforschools@southend.gov.uk

The survey will close at 5pm on 13th November 2020.

We will share the views of those who have taken part in the consultation and will respond to questions in our ‘consultation summary’ which will be posted on this page after the consultation closes.

To read about how the Council handles data please visit the Council website.


As the parents of the school will be aware Chalkwell Hall Junior School has a current Headteacher vacancy and interim arrangements are in place. As is usual, when there is an Infant and Junior school on the same site, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is seeking your views on a way forward.

There is the option to remain as two separate schools or to create one Primary School for pupils aged 5-11, by bringing together Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior School.

This is the first phase of the process where we are asking you for your initial views. You will see from the attached timeline that there are several steps that we would need to go through before a decision can be made and we will be consulting on each stage of the process.

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. The following information is provided by the Government to:

  • governing bodies
  • local authorities
  • decision makers

They describe opening, closing, or making school organisation changes to local-authority-maintained schools. They set out how we can make those changes, and the areas where we must follow a statutory process.

This guidance is based on:

The first phase of the consultation closes 13th November 2020.

To find out more about the schools and why we are considering this, please see the ‘More information about this consultation’ button below next to the survey tab.

To take the survey please click the 'Take Survey' button below.

If you would like to take the survey in a different way e.g. a paper copy or you have a question about the consultation please email: servicesforschools@southend.gov.uk

The survey will close at 5pm on 13th November 2020.

We will share the views of those who have taken part in the consultation and will respond to questions in our ‘consultation summary’ which will be posted on this page after the consultation closes.

To read about how the Council handles data please visit the Council website.


  • Questions you may have regarding the merger of Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior school

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    Questions you may have regarding the merger of Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior school


    What does “amalgamation” mean?

    Amalgamation is the merging of two schools. In this case it would be to merge both Chalkwell Hall Infant School and Chalkwell Hall Junior School to create one new primary school.


    Why are we considering the possibility as to whether to amalgamate both schools to form a primary school?

    The Head teacher of Chalkwell Junior School resigned in summer 2020 and currently Chalkwell Hall Junior School has an interim leadership structure in place overseen by the Governing Body and Local Authority. It is usual for a Local Authority to consider merging the two schools in this circumstance.


    What are the disadvantages of merging two schools?

    • There would be a new staffing structure and certain roles, such as the Headteacher and other Senior Leaders may be changed to make a new leadership structure over both schools.
    • A new joint staffing structure may lead to the rationalisation of some non-teaching posts across the single school.
    • Changes in the governing body arrangements as the primary all through school would not require separate governing bodies. There is potential for less Governance roles.
    • The management of staff and resources will need careful consideration to avoid disruption during the transition to the all through Primary School.
    • There may some costs associated with making the school site a single primary school site rather than two separate schools.


    What are the benefits of merging the two schools?

    • Continuation of education without re-application/admission from year 2 to year 3 for children
    • A consistent vision and shared values and practise across one school
    • A single budget across the school and potential cost savings may provide opportunity for better value for money by operating on a single site in terms of contracts
    • Increased focus on the key transitions particularly between Key Stage 1 and 2 ensuring that gains in learning are built upon year by year with the minimum of disruption as the child moves through the learning structure(s).
    • Consistent engagement with parents across primary phase.
    • Professional development opportunities for staff within a through school environment.
    • Allow teachers to monitor pupils’ progress more consistently across the key stages.
    • Single policies and support strategies that continue throughout the school



    What would be the admission arrangements?

    A merger of the two schools would lead to a single admission with no application required between infants and juniors. This would remove a level of uncertainty for parents. The admission arrangements would be set at the main entry point to the school, reception and in summary would be as determined for Chalkwell Hall Infant School 2021, with minor amendments.


    Would there be any changes to the size and accommodation?

    If the merger proceeds, the new school should remain largely the same with all the existing premises being used in the most appropriate and efficient way. The primary school would need as many classes as there are currently in the Infant and Junior Schools. The newly established primary school may have greater flexibility to use the facilities at its site more effectively.


    Is this a cost saving exercise and what will be the impact on the schools budget?

    Savings will be made through value for money where resources can be shared across the primary school. There are also savings to be made in the appointment of one Head teacher and possibly fewer Senior Leaders.


    Will there be changes to staffing as a result of merging the two schools?

    All the teachers and support staff employed at the Infant and Junior School (at the time of the proposed amalgamation) would automatically continue their employment in the new primary school if this were to be agreed. There should be no direct impact on teaching, class support and ancillary staff as a result of this proposal. Leadership staff however, will be affected as there will need to be a new structure drawn up by the Governing Body for the new school if it is agreed. The post of the headteacher will be advertised, through a separate process, if a decision is taken to merge and establish a new primary school.


    If a significant number of people are against a merger, how will the Council take their views into account?

    The Local Authority will consider all views before making any final recommendations to Councillors for a Cabinet decision on whether there will be a formal proposal to merge the two schools.