THE Harefield primary schools serve the community superbly. The proposal to amalgamate them while they are still in two separate buildings is an act of destruction.
In the consultation document, I found just one genuine reason for such a proposal: 'An amalgamation of the two schools will provide opportunities to achieve better value for money.'
There is reference to 'the unsettling nature of the transition from a KS1 to a KS2 school'. This is not resolved by having a single headteacher. School transfer will remain unchanged while the children are moving to unfamiliar buildings and staff.
I have seen very little evidence of children being unsettled by the move; in fact the staff in both schools work together to ensure that the children are reassured and inspired by a new beginning.
There is an unconvincing observation that 'a change should not be detrimental to educational standards', based on evidence about the performance of children in separate and all-through schools.
There is no reference to the effect that a forced amalgamation might have on learning, behaviour and staff morale.
There is a suggestion that amalgamation will ease the process of finding a new headteacher.
The infant school was about to interview several potential candidates, only to be required to cancel with two days' notice.
Of course, any Hillingdon resident would agree there is a need to offer value for money. However, for the children who will be going through the school over the next few years, this is their one chance.
They deserve to have the same high-quality school experience as that being given to children now.
In my opinion, until you can offer them one school, with a single building, the arguments for amalgamation have very little justification.
Harefield by e-mail