Stifford Clays head makes impassioned plea for her job

STIFFORD CLAYS Infant school head, Linda Catton made a desperate plea for her job at a meeting of the Labour-run council cabinet last night.

Her appearance came as Thurrock Council are deciding whether to close Stifford Clays Infant School and expand Stifford Clays Junior School to form a primary school.

Ms Catton outlined the achievements of the infant school. She said: “The school is in the top 16% of the country. Every day, we strive to be the best we can be.

“We have great parental support. To expand the junior school could threaten the educational stability of the infant school.”

The next to speak was the chair of the board of governors at Stifford Clays Juniors, Colin Whymark.

Mr Whymark supported the expansion by expanding the junior school but he stressed that the selection procedure would be “open and transparent.”

Portfolio holder for Education, cllr Oliver Gerrish thanked the speakers and detailed the time frame for consultation.

The council also outlined the response to the first wave of consultation.

536 responses were received.

471 respondents agreed with the proposal to amalgamate Stifford Clays Infant and Stifford Clays Junior schools. 38 respondents disagreed with the proposal to amalgamate, whilst 16 respondents were unsure whether to agree or disagree. 11 respondents did not indicate a preference.

234 preferred to amalgamate by closing Stifford Clays Junior School and enlarging and changing the upper age range of Stifford Clays Infant School to become a community primary school in existing accommodation on the current site.

261 respondents preferred to amalgamate by closing Stifford Clays Infant School and enlarging and changing the lower age range of Stifford Clays Junior School to become a community primary in existing accommodation on the current site.

34 respondents preferred the option to close both the infant and junior schools and to open a new primary academy in existing accommodation on the current site.

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