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

On 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, students at Ark Kings Academy will soon be moving into their new building and this merger would provide our children with access to 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 school buildings and provide all of our 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 our 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 many of the questions you may have - Rose Kings merger FAQs.docx

I also want to let you know that Mrs Webb has been given the opportunity to open a new school next year and, as such, has taken the decision to 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 but felt, given the proposed changes to the school, that this is also the right time for her to accept this new opportunity.  Mrs Webb has successfully led Ark Rose out of serious weaknesses under good leadership as identifed by Ofsted in the last inspection.  Results across the school have vastly improved and many more children are now meeting national standards - and I want to thank her for her hard work and dedication. 

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 immediately after half term and she will be fully supported by myself as Executive Principal and Roger Punton, Principal at Ark Kings Academy, 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 parent meeting next week at 2.30pm on Tuesday 14th February at Ark Rose.  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