5th Dec, 2016

Parents' shock over Woodlands & Tile Hill Wood schools merger plan

Les Reid 1st Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

PARENTS of children at a Coventry secondary school under threat of closure say they have been left in the dark over the plans.

Woodlands Academy boys school in Broad Lane would close with pupils instead going to the current girls-only Tile Hill Wood School at nearby Nutbrook Avenue, Tile Hill.

Tile Hill Wood announced the plans last night on its website, and said parents would now be consulted on the proposals.

But the news came as shock to some Woodlands parents.

One said: “We found out about it on social media.. I bet this is already a done deal.”

Another who contacted the Observer said: “I heard a rumour they might be merging with Tile Hill Wood, which is a bit annoying if true as my lad’s just started there.”

Finham Park school, on the other side of the city, has established a government-back second ‘free school’ – with greater freedoms from council and government.

It is set to move close to the two council-maintained schools, at the former Land Registry building in Torrington Avenue, Tile Hill.

It has long been considered that the new free school – which can enrol pupils from outside the catchment area – could further threaten the intake at Woodlands and Tile Hill Wood.

The Tile Hill Wood school website, which has also converted to an academy, announced on its website “exciting proposals that would see the creation of the West Coventry Academy.”

It also announced a letter was being sent to parents of pupils from both schools setting out the proposals in detail, and launching a six-week consultation.

The announcement adds: “If agreed the proposals would see one co-educational school on the Tile Hill Wood site, with pupils from Woodlands transferring there from September 2016, with all pupils at the school from September 2017.

“Some classes would remain taught in single sex groups, depending on the subject, where beneficial to the children.”

The letter states: “For some time now, student numbers in the west of Coventry have been declining. In addition to this, the number of parents choosing a single sex education for their children has also decreased.

“Woodlands Academy is now unviable to continue in its current form and so we are proposing a single co-educational academy, to be known as The West Coventry Academy, based on the Tile Hill Wood site. “