Plans to merge Horden schools up for discussion

Future options for schools in the Horden area will be discussed by councillors next week.

Durham County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree that consultation can commence on the proposals made by Cotsford Infant and Cotsford Junior schools to amalgamate, when they meet on Wednesday, 14 November.

As part of the Education Review in County Durham the agreement to join the two schools together has come from the fact that both schools are experiencing a significant fall in pupil numbers.

Surplus school places in Horden for 2018/19 are currently at 34 per cent, however by 2023/24 this is predicted to rise to 49 per cent.

It is felt that joining the Cotsford schools together to create a single primary school will enhance education in the area and will lead to a more sustainable establishment in the long term, providing equal access for all.

School leaders, governors, and local councillors have been working closely with council officers to come to the agreement that an amalgamation of Cotsford Infant and Junior Schools will be the best option for these two schools.

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Durham County Councils Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Our schools have seen unprecedented funding cuts since 2009 and now some are facing significant financial pressures.

“Due to a reduction in pupil numbers it has been predicted that the Cotsford schools are likely to become financially unviable in future, so we are working to together to find a resolution that will work for all who are involved.”

It is intended that a six week consultation will commence in January 2019.