PLANS to keep to current GCSE students at Woodlands Academy boys school in Broad Lane for a further year, while other students merge with nearby Tile Hill Wood School have been scrapped, the Observer can reveal.
A leaked letter has confirmed all pupils, including current year 10 students, will be moving to the Tile Hill Wood site in Nutbrook Avenue in September this year.
It was previously suggested current year 10 boys studying at Woodlands would remain at the school for another year to complete their GCSE exams.
However the letter, which is being sent out to parents and carers, states: “Due to the extension of the consultation and subsequent delay in the decision, there has been a number of resignations from staff at Woodlands, which will make it impossible to run a quality and comprehensive curriculum next year for the students on the Woodlands site.
“We are therefore going to start teaching ALL year groups on the Tile Hill Wood site in September 2016.”
Despite strong protests from both pupils and parents, plans to combine the two single-sex schools into one co-educational academy was given the green light earlier this year.
Headteacher Gina O’Connor blames the lack of full-time staff for the latest development, stating that recent resignations has left Woodlands Academy with 11 full-time teachers.
She claims this has led to the governing bodies of both schools agreeing to adapt the transition plans to factor in current GCSE pupils.
She added: “There has been a number of resignations from staff at Woodlands which will make it impossible to run a quality and comprehensive curriculum next year for the students on the Woodlands site.
“I am not prepared to compromise the education and health and safety of the boys by ‘buying in’ temporary staff.
“I would like to reassure you that all examination course started, or opted for, by all students will continue.”
The letter also reveals more plans about the move – with Tile Hill Wood recruiting ‘a number of experienced members of staff’ from Woodlands to help pupils with the transition.
Current teachers at Woodlands are also producing profiles on each of its current pupils to outline their individual strengths.
An online petition, launched by pupils against the closure of Woodlands Academy in March, called on the school to remain open and garnered over 3,700 signature – including England rugby star Tom Wood and current Republic of Ireland Cyrus Christies, both former students at the school.
Consultation plans to merge the two secondary schools were extended by the Department of Education (DfE) in April, and meetings with Tile Hill Wood headteacher Gina O’Connor and chair of governors Roger Moore also took place.
But despite the extended consultation and continued vocal opposition to the plans from parents and students, the merger will go ahead.
Current year seven pupils will begin school at the Tile Hill Wood site on September 9 with a number of ‘team building’ activities and events planned for the day. Formal lessons will begin on September 12.