Cabinet agree statutory notice for merger of Carlton and Rhyl primary schools

Camden’s Cabinet have agreed that a statutory notice proposing the merger of Carlton and Rhyl primary schools should be published, amid falling pupil numbers, at a meeting last night (Wednesday, 16 December).

Following acute falls in births in our Borough, surplus places in schools continue to rise and now stand at 16% in our primary schools. This is despite the difficult action that we, and our family of schools, have already taken to reduce provision, including the closure of St Aloysius Catholic Primary School last year.

Following a comprehensive, seven-week public consultation, Camden Council’s Cabinet have agreed to a four week statutory notice period (from 7 January to 4 February 2021) on the proposals to merge Carlton and Rhyl primary schools to respond to this dramatic fall in pupil numbers and ensure a sustainable school system. Following this, a final decision on the proposed merger would be taken by the Cabinet in March 2021.

The proposals mean that Rhyl Primary School would be expanded to include the site of Carlton Primary School as well as reducing entry to the merged school from a total of four classes to two classes (a reduction of 60 places per year) from September 2021.

Technically, this would be achieved by the closure of Carlton Primary School as a legal entity but, in practice, the merger would draw upon the strengths of both schools together.

Carlton’s site and facilities would also remain in use for the school’s local community and for the benefit of children and their families, with the aim to develop innovative new early years, family and community support services on the premises.

Camden Council recognises the importance of Carlton school within the local community and will be asking for their views and to get involved in shaping these future services.

The proposed merger is supported by both schools and in a joint statement the headteachers of Carlton and Rhyl primary schools said:

Rhyl and Carlton have been providing an excellent education as community schools at the heart of the Queen’s Crescent and Gospel Oak areas for generations.  Both schools are committed to ensuring this is maintained for the future, but recognise the huge challenge of falling pupil numbers in central London, in particular Camden and at Carlton Primary School, resulting in the proposal to close Carlton Primary School as a legal entity and merge with Rhyl Primary School.

Carlton is highly regarded and valued within the community. The proposed provision of education, as well as early years and community services on this site, would enable the merged school to build on this strength in meeting the needs of local families and children.
Headteachers of Rhyl and Carlton Primary Schools