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Parents positive about Rocester school merger project

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

13/03/13 Tree being planted and blessed and 'Good' ofsted report - Ryecroft Middle School, Denstone Lane, Rocester
Ryecroft School, Good Ofsted  Tree Blessing.Head Teacher Steve Bardon

13/03/13 Tree being planted and blessed and 'Good' ofsted report - Ryecroft Middle School, Denstone Lane, Rocester Ryecroft School, Good Ofsted Tree Blessing.Head Teacher Steve Bardon

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PARENTS have been giving their views on the proposal to merge two schools near Uttoxeter.

It was revealed last month that Ryecroft Middle School and Dove First School may merge into a single school on a brand new site.

The move would allow JCB to buy up the Ryecroft site, which neighbours its World Headquarters, to further its recently-announced expansion plans.

Staffordshire County Council hopes to make the planned new school, which would be a Church of England establishment, ready by 2016.

And more detailed plans about the proposed site went on show at both Rocester schools earlier this week.

An Advertiser reporter went down to canvass the views of those viewing the plans at Ryecroft.

It would sit on land currently owned by JCB on the outskirts of Rocester, off the Ashbourne Road and bordered by the B5030 to the west and Northfield Avenue to the east.

Any agreement would need the approval of the schools’ governing bodies and the Diocese of Lichfield.

Anita Carr, whose son, 11-year-old Mitchell, attends Ryecroft, said she was ‘really positive’ about the idea.

However, having attended Dove First School herself as a child, she is hoping its current building remains intact.

She said: “Initially, when I first got the letter, I was quite shocked, having lived in the area all my life.

“I went to Dove First School and all my children have been there too, but, now, I’ve embraced the plan.

“My only concern is about what’s going to happen to the lovely building Dove First School is currently in.

“I think that the younger children will benefit from mixing with older pupils in the new school.

“Also, my daughter, who’s at Dove, was a bit lost when Mitchell moved up and, with the new plan, siblings will be able to stay together.

“I’d hope there’ll be smaller class sizes and pupils with disabilities could benefit.

“I’m sure all-new facilities will be a good asset and will excite the pupils greatly.”

Fiona Croft, mother of 11-year-old Calvin, who is also a Ryecroft pupil, said: “I’m really pleased with the proposals.

“It seemed quite daunting when it was initially being talked about but I now firmly believe it’s a good thing.

“This is a great opportunity to give these children brand new facilities, which will no doubt help their interest in lessons and extra-curricular activities.”

Ryecroft Head Teacher Steve Bardon said: “We’ve had quite a few parents in to look at the layout and I think it’s been a worthwhile exercise so far.

“The display will be up in our reception area until Friday, so I’d urge anyone who wants to see them to come down by then.”

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