When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Council unveils new school place option - and it includes 850-place primary
COUNCIL bosses struggling with the problem of where to create desperately-needed primary school places have outlined potential options for 2014.
The suggestions identified by Bournemouth council so far include building new schools and expanding others.
But there are concerns that many schools are now at full capacity and that some primary schools are now getting too big.
Under these new proposals, it’s possible Bournemouth would end up with primary schools containing as many as 840 pupils, infant schools with up to 450 pupils and junior schools with up to 600 children.
The suggestions include:
- Building a new Catholic primary school that would be run by St Peter’s Academy
- Building another new primary school on an as yet unidentified site.
- Expanding the new primary academy at Townsend, which is due to open next September.
- Reorganising Stourfield Infant and Junior Schools to make them both permanently five-form of entry, with 150 children in every year group.
- Continue the temporary expansion of St Katherine’s and Elmrise Schools and permanently expand Winton, Kingsleigh and Kinson Schools.
- Expand the Epiphany School, either temporarily or permanently to three forms of entry and expand St Mark’s School temporarily.
A working group of officers and local headteachers is to be set up to investigate the “educational impact” of having schools of this size.
The expansion programme has also prompted fears that safety on roads surrounding schools is being compromised. A special task and finish group of councillors will revisit the issues of home to school travel and parking safer routes to suggest possible improvements.
Officers are also warning that there is no sign of the demand for primary school places easing and say that forecast figures indiciate that they will have to provide even more reception places for 2015/16.
Cllr Chris Wakefield, the chair of the task and finish group that has been reviewing school places, said: “It’s good that people are thinking about and identifiying sites where new schools can be built as that will help take the pressure off those schools that now have extraordinary numbers of primary children in them.
“We know they weren’t originally built for those numbers but what can you do? We need to educate our children and our schools are very, very good schools.
“High performing schools will always be over-subscribed and some people will be disappointed that they don’t get their first choice but their young people will still get a good education.”
He also stressed the council was now working hard to ensure that secondary schools were prepared to cope with the increased numbers of pupils.