Proposal to reorganise primary education in Copthorne Village: initial engagement

Closed 31 Dec 2019

Opened 5 Dec 2019

Results expected 9 Jan 2020

Feedback expected 31 Jan 2020


Photograph of Fairway Infant School and Copthorne CE Junior Schoool

West Sussex County Council would like to hear views from the community and local area surrounding Copthorne on the possibility of reorganising primary education in the village in response to significant housing development.  This could align the age range of the schools with the West Sussex School Effectiveness Strategy 2018-22 which states a preference for primary schools rather than the existing infant and junior structure. 

A Stakeholder Engagement Session has been held on 5th December 2019 at Copthorne Village Hall, between 3.45 to 6.45pm, with invitees from the community, the schools, neighbouring schools, Diocese, local councils and organisations and groups in the area with more details of the proposals.  However all comments are welcome and will form part of this discussion and consultation process.

Both Fairway Infant School and Copthorne CE Junior Schools have Good OfSted ratings and the proposed change aims to retain the two school communities and leadership but prepare for the future in terms of growth in numbers and quality of education (there is evidence that primary schools improve results at Key Stage 2 by reducing the number of transitions that children make between schools throughout their school career).

The building of 500+ houses to the West of Copthorne has provided the opportunity to secure a new school site as part of the development and funding towards a new school building (an ariel view of a possible school site at Heathy Woodplease is attached below).  One option would be to utilise this site to relocate Fairway Infant School and for the school to become a primary school with the potential to expand.  In addition, the age range of Copthorne Junior would be aligned by the school to become a primary school.

Alternatively the status quo could be maintained or Fairway Infant rebuilt on its current site at a larger size and both schools change to become primary schools.  Part of the reason to consider change is that the existing Fairway Infants building has a timber frame construction which has unaddressed and significant long term maintenance issues affecting its sustainability.

We would like to stress that no decision has been made yet and the earliest that a new school building could open, or an alternative option could come into effect, is September 2022. 


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