THE HISTORIC Solihull School is to merge with Saint Martin’s School.
The merger, subject to legal completion, will form a combined co-educational day school for youngsters aged 3 to 18, on two campuses, from September 2020.
It will create a larger Solihull School, founded in 1560, which will provide a junior and infant school on the Saint Martin’s campus and a senior school and sixth form on the Warwick Road campus.
Saint Martin’s School, founded in 1941, provides education from nursery through to sixth form.
Solihull School states on its website: “Each school is currently in a sound financial position; however, it is clear that over time the future for Saint Martin’s will become more challenging. Therefore, the decision to merge has been taken to secure the future of the education of current and future pupils at Saint Martin’s.”
“Through significant investment, year on year, we will improve the teaching and learning environment and other facilities on both campuses, enabling us to extend our reputation for being specialist early years, primary and secondary providers with first-class facilities and resources.
“The new school ensures greater long-term security to enable the governors to plan for its future and support the school in achieving its goals.”
In recent years, both Schools have opened new buildings, including a Performance Arts Centre, the David Turnbull Music School and Sixth Form Centre.
With effect from January 2020, the school will have an enlarged governing body with representatives from both Solihull and Saint Martin’s. The chairman of the board will be Mark Hopton, current chairman of Solihull. The new governing body will have sole responsibility for the governance of the combined school.
The schools say the merger is conditional upon a number of legal matters being completed and in the interim, there will be a transition steering group comprising governors and senior leaders of both schools.
Head of the combined School will be Mr David EJJ Lloyd, current headmaster of Solihull.
He said: “We are delighted to be merging with Saint Martin’s. It provides a significant opportunity for pupils and staff of the new combined School. The Schools are a good fit in terms of our shared ethos and approach to the education of young people.”
Mark Hopton, Chairman of Solihull governors, said: “We look forward to working together to take both Schools forward to preserve and improve the education and opportunities for the pupils in our care.“
Nicola Smillie, Head of Saint Martin’s, said: “The new school will continue to provide a stimulating environment in which pupils want to learn through excellent teaching; where they take responsibility for their own learning, both in the classroom and outside of it; and achieve the very best results of which they are capable, in the spirit of Saint Martin’s founding principles.“
Carol McNidder, Chair of Saint Martin’s Governors, said: “We regularly evaluate the environment in which we operate and continually seek what is best for Saint Martin’s pupils and their families. This merger has clear benefits educationally and pastorally and crucially secures the future education of our pupils.”