An old village school in a location that was ‘not conducive to education’ has been closed for good.

Farley Hill Primary School’s old home in Farley Hill has been officially closed following the relocation of the school in September.

The school was moved wholesale to Baston Road in the Arborfield Garrison major development at the start of the 2021/22 academic year in September.

The new build has specialist areas for design and food technology, PE, and the latest digital teaching tools such as interactive screens and sound systems.

READ MORE: New primary school in Arborfield opens ready for September

But plans for the school have been adapted.

Originally, the plan was to expand  the old school site to 630 pupil places and occupy the new school site in Baston Road – with the school operating out of two locations.

However, now the school will be expanded entirely at its new site, with the old school being described as a place ‘not conducive to education’.

It does mean the expansion in pupil numbers has been curbed from 630 to 420 new pupils, a reduction of 210 places.


The decision to formally close the school adapt the expansion plans was taken by Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee on Thursday, November 25.

A spokeswoman for the council clarified that the changes mean that the expansion to a two form entry school can begin in September next year, and the decision removes the obligation to expand the school to three form entry 2026, which allows it to expand when it is needed rather than in a specific year when it might not be needed.

There will also be a nursery located at the new school site.

Councillor Graham Howe (Conservative, Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe), the executive member for children’s services, introduced the changes to the committee.

The proposal was welcomed by Cllr John Kaiser, (Conservative, Arborfield) and Cllr Charles Margetts (Conservative, Finchampstead North) during the meeting.

Cllr Margetts said: “I’m in full support of this. I know there have been people in Arborfield who’ve had to go after primary schools in Finchampstead, which is a long way because there’s been no provision locally.

“I think this is exactly what we should be doing, providing local services for local people.”

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In comments to the local democracy reporting service, Cllr Kaiser said the school buildings were ‘failing’ and parking for parents had become an issue.

He said: “Basically the school failed. The building was effectively falling to bits.

“The whole thing needed a lot of work. It was not somewhere conducive to education, it was suffering quite badly.

“Parking was difficult as well. It was an accident waiting to happen.”

The school received a ‘Good’ OFSTED rating at its last full inspection in 2016, which was confirmed during an inspection in 2019.

Cllr Kaiser added: “It’s a very popular school academically, lots of people want to send their kids to it.

“It deserved to be moved because it was so successful, giving it new premises allows it to thrive.”

Additionally, a consultation has begun on adapting the school’s catchment area to include homes within the Arborfield Garrison major development, which the new site is located in.

All the changes were approved unanimously by the executive committee, which is made up entirely of Conservatives.