SOMERSET Council Council will open a public consultation next week on the proposed shake-up of schooling in Dulverton.

The changes, which would take effect in September 2015, would see Dulverton First School take pupils from ages three to seven, and Dulverton Middle School accept children from ages seven to 11.

The first school’s current age range is four to nine, while the middle school takes pupils from nine to 13.

The governors of the Exmoor Federation of Schools, which also includes the unaffected Exford First School, say the changes are needed following the introduction of a new national funding formula.

Matthew Pickett, the acting chair of governors for the Exmoor Federation, said: “The long-term sustainability of providing exemplary education within the Exmoor Federation has always been the motivating factor behind the considerable amount of work and investigation which has brought us to this point."

A drop-in event will take place at Dulverton Town Hall on February 11, from 2pm to 6pm, where county council officers will answer questions, followed by a formal consultation meeting from 7pm to 9pm.

Another drop-in event will take place at Exford First School on February 27, from 3pm to 6pm.

County councillor Frances Nicholson, cabinet member responsible for children and families, said: “We want to ensure we can maintain a high quality education on all three sites within the Exmoor Federation of Schools and are urging members of the public to have their say on our proposals. 

“If agreed, all three schools will continue to work closely together. The major change will be the removal of full-time secondary education from Dulverton Middle School.

"Instead parents will have the opportunity and choice to send their children to other secondary schools.

“As county councillor for Dulverton and Exmoor, I urge everyone with an interest in the future of education in Dulverton and the whole of its catchment to come to the drop-in sessions or the public meeting, or both, to discuss the proposals and give their views.”

To take part in the consultation, which closes on March 24, click here.