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Schools merging cut costs

TWO schools in Swanley are one step closer to being combined to save money.

Downsview Infants and Downsview Juniors, in Beech Avenue, are on the same site but currently run separately with different staff, governing bodies and buildings.

But the number of pupils has dropped and the junior school, which currently has an acting headteacher, is strapped for cash.

Kent County Council (KCC) says the infant school could face similar budget deficit problems soon.

And it believes the pupils will benefit from having continued education from four to 11-years-old.

Both governing bodies supported amalgamating the two schools at a public consultation last month.

But parents from the infants school raised concerns and the headteacher Germaine O'Brien told News Shopper: "There is something special in keeping the two schools separate".

But she said: "If it goes ahead we will go all out to make it work and retain all the best elements of infant education."

KCC cabinet member for education Leyland Ridings said: "Amalgamating these two schools makes sense. It would secure the future of the schools and ultimately provide local children with the quality education they deserve."

A public notice is expected to be issued by the KCC cabinet on March 10, giving the public two months to voice their opinions.

What do you think? Call 01689 885715.

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