Express & Star

Two Sandwell schools become one as merged site opens

A new school has officially opened in Sandwell after two schools made the decision to merge.

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Balraj, Tyler, Savannah and Ida from the two schools pose with Lynn Howard, Councillor Simon Hackett and Nick Fowler

Hamstead Infant School and Hamstead Junior school have joined to form Hamstead Primary School in Great Barr.

The merge took place on January 1, with the official opening of the primary school on Wednesday this week.

The new school occupies a single site at Tanhouse Avenue and Hamstead Road in Great Barr.

Councillor Simon Hackett, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education attended the official opening.

He said: “The proposal to merge the two schools received unanimous support during consultation last year.

“The benefits of the joining together of Hamstead Infant and Hamstead Junior Schools is wide-reaching and in particular, parents and carers will no longer need to apply for a place at the junior school when their child reaches Year 2.

“The running costs of the two schools are inevitably higher than the costs of running a single primary school.

"We have successfully merged schools previously in Sandwell and are confident this merger will result in better continuity for children.

“Standards are high at both schools with their Ofsted ratings both ‘good’ prior to the merge so I hope the shared knowledge among the staff will result in even higher standards and the best outcomes for pupils.”

Nick Fowler, the new school's headteacher, added: “Everyone involved with the school is very excited to start this new journey as Hamstead Primary School.

"This next chapter, will see both schools coming together to share expertise and experience to move the school forward.

"Governors and I believe that this will provide new opportunities for pupils, staff and families within our local community.”

Following the amalgamation, Hamstead Primary School will now operate as a 420-place, two form entry primary school with the transfer of infant aged children to the new primary school.