Academy schools plan to merge
Two Market Harborough schools are set to merge into one academy.
Parents at Robert Smyth and Welland Park academies have been consulted by the schools for their views on the merger.
The proposals will now be considered by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove before a final decision is made.
Since September, teams at both schools, led by principals Colin Dean and Julie McBrearty, have been working closely to prepare for the creation of a single school taking children from 11 to 19.
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The new academy will be called The Market Harborough Academy and, if approved by the Government, will open in September 2014.
It will operate from the two existing sites, referred to as the Robert Smyth and Welland Park campuses.
Mr Dean said parents' responses to the consultation were "much appreciated".
He said: "The overwhelming response has been a very positive one and will be included in our proposal to the Department for Education."
In a letter to parents, Welland Park head Miss McBrearty and chairman of governors Dave Hedley said: "While the younger students, starting in year seven, will still attend the Welland Park campus and the older ones the Robert Smyth campus, in creating the new 11 to 19 academy, both schools would be effectively extending their age range to that of the other.
"From an admissions point of view, in bringing the two academies together, Welland Park would adopt the current Robert Smyth catchment area, which would then become the catchment for the whole, new academy.
"In actual fact, apart from providing an enhanced 11 to 19 experience for your son or daughter and future students in the Market Harborough area, very little would change."
Students from Kibworth High School, which takes children from 11 to 14, would still be able to transfer to the new academy for post-14 courses.
However, Kibworth High School is preparing a case to switch to an 11 to 16 school, which will go out to consultation in November.
District councillor Phil King, a former governor of both Welland Park and Robert Smyth schools, said: "I can understand savings in running costs will be made by merging some back office functions and perhaps streamlining some senior management roles.
"But fundamentally, this merger needs to address how the new school is going to drive up the standards of achievement, especially for the middle and lower-ability pupils who comprise over half the school roll.
"Parents, pupils and the community need to understand how this is going to work."