Proposed Amalgamation of Plymton St Mary and Old Priory Schools

16th Nov 2023

Thank you to the families of Plympton St Mary’s Infant School and Old Priory Junior School who considered the proposal to move the site of their school to Old Priory Junior School.  

The new amalgamated school to be called St Mary’s Priory Church of England Primary School and Nursery.

The consultation period provided us with valuable insight into the level of support for the proposal from our families and we are grateful for their feedback. 

During the next stages of the planned amalgamation the views of the families will be accommodated into the planning and decision-making process.  Our priority is always the wellbeing of our children, and we aim to give them the best learning environment we can.

We received three emails from families during the consultation period, in which some concerns were expressed.  These are summarised below:

  1. Infant School Setting

Plympton St Mary, unlike other Plymouth schools, serves only children within the Infant age range.   It was felt that the current smaller setting provides a more relaxed and less intimidating environment for younger children.

In response: We will create an environment in the new school for the Infant classes that continues to offer a secure and friendly setting for younger children.  Pupils in our other primary schools benefit from the seamless transition from Infant to Junior school.

  1. Sufficient Space for additional Children at Old Priory Site

There was a concern that the amount and design of the space available at Old Priory would be insufficient and unsuitable to accommodate additional younger children.

In response: Due to a fall in birth-rate, there will be fewer children in the new school, approx. 200 in total. There is sufficient space in Old Priory to provide well-resourced Reception and Key Stage 1 classrooms and other learning areas internally and externally with some internal redevelopment works planned to adjust the space for younger pupils.

  1. School Pick up/drop off Traffic and Parking

Questions were asked about adequate and safe traffic and parking solutions around the Old Priory site following an increase in number of pupils.

In response: There will be carefully considered picking up and dropping off arrangements for the school.  It is anticipated that families with children in both key stage 1 and 2, will have a single drop off collection point for their children.

  1. School budgets and Ofsted

Clarification was sought as to whether there would be any loss of budget following the amalgamation of schools and what would be the impact on Ofsted outcomes.

In response:  The level of school funding will be unaffected by the amalgamation.  There will be considerable savings as many resources will no longer need to be duplicated.

With the same leadership team currently across both schools Ofsted ratings of will not be negatively impacted.