ASCOT Heath Infant (AHIS) and Ascot Heath CE Junior Schools are set to be combined into a new primary school in time for the 2019 academic year.

Bracknell Forest Council has proposed the measure as it believes the move can make “long-term savings”.

However, a report claimed: “an amalgamated Primary School would receive £110k per annum less in its budget than separate schools” after losing an initial £17,000 in its first year.

BFC Officer Graham Symonds said: “At the current time it is not possible to estimate (the savings) as it depends on the decisions made by the governors of an amalgamated school.

“There will be savings on staffing and contract costs.”

When asked whether this will mean job losses, Mr Symonds said: “One obvious job loss is that only one headteacher is needed, rather than two.

“There are not envisaged to be any changes in teaching and pupil support staff – there will be the same number of classes, with the same number of pupils and staff required.

“The extent of any further changes will be dependent on staffing decisions taken by the governors; in cases like this it is not unusual that there may be some reductions in back office staff where roles are duplicated in each school, but the extent of this will be minimised and managed over time.”

A BFC report claimed creating one primary school would enable more stability for children transitioning through different age groups, but also said “standards may be diluted” and that “the effective use of current buildings may be a challenge”.

A consultation on the proposals will begin on Thursday 5 July and will finish on Tuesday 25 September.

It will ask respondents whether the schools should be combined, whether instead Ascot Heath CE should be closed and AHIS’ age range should be extended to become a primary school, or whether both schools should close and a new Ascot Heath Primary School should be created.

This proposal comes after the News told that primary schools across the borough have currently a surplus of places.

Ascot Heath Infant school currently has 18 surplus places for its September 2018 intake.

When asked whether the proposal was linked to the surplus of places, Mr Symonds said: “Whilst the amalgamation is not being progressed purely to address the number of surplus places, many of the points raised in (in a forthcoming report) will be positive in making the school attractive to parents.

“In addition larger schools are more robust to fluctuations in pupil numbers.”

Councillor Dr Gareth Barnard is set to make a decision on the proposal in late December after first hearing consultation responses from parents, children, staff, governors and the wider community.