2 June 2015

Merger agreed for Davigdor and Somerhill

Davigdor Infant School and Somerhill Junior School in Hove are to merge, creating an all-through primary school for children aged 4-11 with effect from 1 September 2015. The new school will have four forms of entry.

Brighton & Hove City Council’s children, young people and skills committee has agreed the move following a period of statutory consultation.

Previous public consultation in February showed a high level of support from parents and staff for the merger proposal, with 74 responses in favour and 26 against.

Both sets of governors have also unanimously backed the proposal. The statutory consultation period generated no further comments or objections.

The two schools are on adjacent sites on Somerhill Road. The council has a policy of considering amalgamation of linked infant and junior schools when one of the headteachers leaves. In this instance the headteacher of Davigdor Infants is retiring.

The chair of the children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: “Davigdor and Somerhill are both successful and popular schools. The merger has a lot of support locally and we will believe it will bring significant benefits for the children.”

The reasons why the council favours all-through primary schools include:

  • Greater continuity in teaching, pupil care and development
  • Greater continuity in planning the curriculum across the stages of education so that pupils make the best possible progress in learning
  • Greater flexibility that a 4–11 school has in organising classes, deploying teachers and support staff and using resources, including buildings, more effectively
  • Closer contact with parents over a longer period of time and covering the full span of the children’s primary education
  • Practical advantages for parents e.g. same staff development days, the same school policies relating to home links, uniform, codes of conduct
  • Social interaction between younger and older pupils
  • Separate admissions applications at age seven will not be necessary and any uncertainty about transfer between the schools would be removed.