Seven Melksham schools have announced plans to join together, in a radical shake-up of the town’s education system.

Melksham Oak Community School and six primaries want to form a Multi Academy Trust, which would enable them to share central services and methods.

The trust would be the first of its kind in Wiltshire and involve Bowerhill, St George’s in Semington, St Mary’s in Broughton Gifford, Seend, Shaw and The Manor primary schools.

Melksham Oak headteacher Steve Clark said: “We have submitted the application forms and now we’re talking to the Department for Education about it, then we will then go and talk to the community.

“We hope to have everything in place by autumn this year.”

All schools would be governed by a single trust, with headteachers retaining overall control of their school.

Mr Clarke said: “It was an open invitation to all of the schools, and not the secondary school leading it. We will still work with those that aren’t members. This will develop our existing good practice and allow each school to maintain its own identity.”

He said the idea was good practice as small schools could find it difficult to continue under present economic circumstances and all needed to be efficient.

The plan would allow items such as ground maintenance to be centralised and allow heads to concentrate on teaching. He added: “No one is changing the school uniform or the logo, so in lots of ways people won’t see any changes.”

All parents of the 2,300 children affected by the change will be told.