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Catholic Primary School

Pre-School Consultation - response requested.

Proposed changes to More Park Catholic Primary School, Lucks Hill, West Malling, ME19 6HN to increase the age range from 4-11 years to 2-11 years, to enable the school to establish a Pre-School from September 2021. 

 

  1. Introduction 

Kent Catholic Schools Partnership (KCSP) together with the Academy committee, with support from Kent County Council (KCC), is seeking the views of parents/carers, staff and other stakeholders on a proposal to permanently change the age range of the school from 4-11 years to 2-11 years, to enable the school to run a Pre- School.  This document is part of a six-week consultation process which opens on 2nd April 2021. At the end of the consultation period a decision will be taken by Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the DfE on whether to proceed with the proposed change of age range. 

 

Why are we proposing to establish a Pre- School at More Park School? 

More Park Catholic Primary school currently provides early years education for children who turn five when in the Reception class. Kent Catholic Schools Partnership (KCSP) have been approached by the Diocese of Southwark regarding the transfer of business, of St Thomas More Catholic Pre-School.  This is a viable, thriving Pre-School currently located behind St Thomas More Catholic Church in West Malling. Due to a change in circumstances the Diocese are asking KCSP to take over ownership of the Pre-School to avoid its closure in July 2021. 

 

Where will the Pre-School be situated? 

It is proposed to construct a new modular building for the Pre-School within the school site.  The proposed building would comprise 1 large classroom, lobby areas, kitchen, toilets, quiet area and a small office. The proposed scheme would also include an external secure playground and canopy. 

 

How will the school deal with any possible increased traffic and congestion? 

 

The Pre-School entrance will be separate from the rest of the school and opening/closing times will be different from the rest of the school to ease any congestion. Traffic and parking assessments will be carried out as part of the design and planning process. The school’s travel plan would need to be updated and would be utilised by the school to encourage families to find alternative ways of travelling to school in order to reduce the number of car journeys. 

 

About the proposed Pre-School 

As a thriving Pre-School the pupils currently attending St Thomas More Pre-school would remain with the school at the point of transfer. The maximum capacity, depending on age range will remain 28 pupils. It is planned to open the Pre-School in September 2021 but transfer of ownership will take place in September 2021 even if the relocation of accommodation is delayed during building works. In the event of delay the Pre-School would remain in its current location of the St Thomas of Canterbury Centre behind St Thomas More Catholic Church. 

 

KCC is confident that the strong and effective leadership of the school has the capacity to maintain a Pre-School provision.  The Academy committee has also confirmed its support and is confident that the proposal can be successfully taken forward. The new Pre-school provision would operate under the school’s Ofsted registration and provide places for children aged two and a half, three and four year olds.  The school will utilise existing Early Years expertise within its staff group in addition to the transfer of all current Pre-School staff to ensure the preschool runs effectively and will appoint additional staff as and when appropriate. 

 

Will the Pre-School impact Reception Year entry to the school? 

The proposed change of age range to the school would not affect the determined admission arrangements for entry to Reception Year. Parents will still need to follow the school admissions process and apply for a place for their child in Reception, even if he/she attends the Pre-School.  

 

What are the financial implications? 

The Diocese of Southwark and KCSP will fund the relocation of the Pre-School. The school will receive revenue funding from the County Council based on the number of children in the setting and hours that they attend.  

 

I have a question – who can I ask?  

If you have any questions, please contact the school on 01732 843047 or email the school Area Business Manager, Mrs Ottembrajt on sottembrajt@kcsp.org.uk.   

 

The consultation process - indicative timetable 

2nd April 2021 

6 weeks public consultation period ending 14th May 2021 

 

w/c 17th May 2021 

The consultation responses are reviewed by the KCSP and the Academy committee, with support from KCC and results added to the business case for the DfE. 

 

 w/c 24th May 2021 

Change of age range business case document is sent to DfE for approval. 

 

1st September 2021 

Subject to approval, the proposed change of age range is implemented 

 

How to give your views on the proposal? 

There are a number of ways to give us your views on this proposal: 

  • By emailing: sottembrajt@kcsp.org.uk 

  • By Post addressed to Pre-School Consultation, Mrs Ottembrajt, More Park Catholic Primary school, Lucks Hill, West Malling, ME19 6HN 

All responses must be received by midday on 14th May 2021 

 

What happens next? 

Following the end of the consultation, a report summarising the responses will be submitted to the Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the DfE. Having considered any responses, the Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the DfE will then take a final decision as to whether to proceed with permanently changing the age range of the school.  

 

Yours sincerely 

Mark Harris 

Acting CEO Kent Catholic School Partnership 

 

 

 

CONSULTATION RESPONSE FORM 

 

Please complete this response form by no later than Midday on 14th May 2021and return it by:  

  • By emailing: sottembrajt@kcsp.org.uk 

  • By Post addressed to Pre-School Consultation, Mrs Ottembrajt, More Park Catholic Primary school, Lucks Hill, West Malling, ME19 6HN 

 

 

Do you agree with the proposal to increase the age range to from 4-11 years to 2-11 years, to enable the school to establish a Pre-School from September 2021? 

 

 

Yes  / No / Undecided 

 

Which of the following best describes you? 

 

Parent/Carer / Member of Staff  / Governor  / Pupil 

 

 

OR -  Other interested party …………………………………..…… (please state interest).  

 

 

Comments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

  • KCSP is the ‘controller’ under the General Data Protection Regulation and ensure that any personal information is processed fairly and lawfully.  We will share your responses only for the purpose of validation, which will enable a fair and just consultation. 

 

Further detail can also be found under 'Key Information'.  This will allow you to print a response form for posting or emailing back to the school. Click Here for document

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Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address Barham Court, Teston, Kent, ME18 5BZ. More Park Catholic Primary School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.

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