Bisham academy plan would see older children moved to Knowl Hill

James Harrison

Plans to safeguard the future of a village primary school look set to see pupils moved out to save money.

Under the scheme, Bisham Primary School is due to join with White Waltham CE Academy, in Waltham Road, and Knowl Hill CE Primary School, as part of the Ashley Hill Multi Academy Trust.

However, this would also see the 13 youngsters in Bisham’s Swans class, made up of years four, five and six, move to Knowl Hill from January.

And it would bring to an end the involvement of Cookham Rise Primary School’s headteacher Helen Daniels, who has been executive head-teacher at Bisham since July 2015.

Speaking about the decision, which was taken by Bisham’s interim executive board (IEB), Mrs Daniels said it was a positive move for the school and looked forward to continuing links with Cookham Rise.

The move is intended to safeguard the long-term future of the school, which was only taken out of Ofsted-imposed special measures in April.

According to the Royal Borough, the school, which is currently running at about half capacity with 45 pupils, is expected to need an extra £750,000 over the next three years to continue running as it is.

The plans, which parents were told about last week, are not expected to affect children currently in reception or years one, two and three.

Speaking about the plans for the school, Cllr Natasha Airey, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are determined to provide an excellent education for all children and young people in the borough.

“We have been working with Bisham Church of England Primary School for a number of years to raise standards and have tried to make the budget balance.

“However, the projections show it will cost £750,000 to keep the school in its current form for the next three years on top of their existing budget. The proposal from the IEB and the Ashley Hill Trust will secure both a great education for today’s pupils and the long-term future for a school in Bisham.”

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