Consultation on the proposed merger of Ark Rose Primary Academy and Ark Kings Academy

Today (Thursday 9th February) we launched a consultation on a proposed merger of Ark Rose Primary Academy and Ark Kings Academy.   

The proposed merger of our two schools would create an all-through school with children from Reception through to Year 11 being educated on the Ark Kings site.   

As you are aware, we will soon be moving into our new building and this merger would provide the children from Ark Rose Primary Academy with access to our brand new facilities including the sports hall, dining room, library and other specialist facilities – as well as access to larger outside areas.   

We are currently investigating two options for the physical location of the primary element of the all-through school.  The first is that classrooms will be situated on the ground floor of the new Kings building.  The second is that modular classrooms will be situated behind the new Kings building, with walkways linking the two buildings.  I thought it would be helpful to include example photos of modular buildings in the enclosed FAQs so that you have more of an idea of what this option could look like.  Both of these options would be huge improvement on the current Ark Rose buildings and would provide the children and staff with access to excellent facilities. 

Following this consultation period, which will last for six weeks, we are required to submit documentation to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) who will decide whether or not we can expand Ark Kings’ age range to include primary children.  We expect to receive a final decision at Easter.  

In creating one all-through school, the proposal is that Ark Rose staff and children transfer to Ark Kings Academy from September 2017.  Staff would transition under our Managing Change policy and a formal consultation would take place if we receive agreement from the RSC. 

Although much of the detail will be confirmed if and when we get approval, we have put together a frequently asked questions document which we hope will answer some of the questions you may have - Rose Kings merger FAQs.docx

I also want to let you know that Mrs Webb, Headteacher at Ark Rose, has accepted an opportunity to open a new school next year.  As such she will step down as Headteacher of Ark Rose Primary from at the end of this half term.  She is fully supportive of this proposed merger, and believes it is the best thing for our pupils and their families, but felt that, having successfully led Rose out of serious weaknesses under good leadership as identified by Ofsted in the last inspection, that this is also the right time for her to accept this new opportunity.  

I am pleased to let you know that Ms Gregson, Ark's Network Lead for Primary Professional Development is taking up the position of Acting Head of School at Ark Rose immediately after half term and she will be fully supported by Gail Peyton as Executive Principal, and myself, so that we can collectively work towards the potential merger. 

This is a very exciting opportunity for our pupils, staff and the whole community – but we are aware that any change can bring uncertainty.  We would very much like to hear your thoughts on this proposal and will therefore be holding a meeting for parents next week at 5.30pm on Thursday 16th February at Ark Kings Academy.  You can also submit any questions or comments by email to projects@arkonline.org  If you are unable to make the meeting, but would still like to speak to us regarding the proposal, please contact the school and we will arrange a convenient time. 

Admissions

As part of this proposed merger we are also consulting on the admissions arrangements for Ark Kings if it becomes an all-through school.  You can read our proposed admissions arrangements here - Ark Kings Admission Policy 2017-18 DRAFT FOR MERGER.pdf