Primary school places: investing in the future
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Ensuring there are sufficient primary school places to meet future demand lies at the heart of a decision to be made by Hampshire County Council's Executive Lead Member for Children's Services next week.
At his decision day on 26 September, Councillor Roy Perry will be asked to approve consultations on proposals to enlarge eight schools across the county creating more than 1,000 additional school places representing a capital investment of around £15 million
In line with national trends Hampshire is experiencing an increase in demand for primary school places due to a number of factors including a rising number of births, housing development and increasing numbers of families moving into the county. Some areas of the county have been more affected than others.
The schools proposed for enlargement are:
- Vigo Infant and Junior schools and Endeavour Primary school in Andover
- The Crescent and Nightingale primary schools in Eastleigh
- Merton Infant and Junior schools in Basingstoke
- Emsworth Primary in Emsworth
In the case of the proposals for Endeavour Primary this is a technical expansion - the school was designed to be a two form entry primary but only half the capacity is currently in use. The other proposed enlargements will require additional classrooms to be provided.
Investing in primary school places
The latest proposals follow significant planned investment by the County Council to create additional places in Fleet, Farnborough, Bramley and Overton. In July Councillor Perry also gave the go ahead for £10m investment in additional primary places in Winchester. The Westgate School will be transformed into a school which will cater for pupils aged from 4 through to 16 - the first school of its kind in the county and consultations are taking place on the enlargement of Winnall Primary School and St Peter's Catholic Primary School.
Commenting Councillor Perry said:
"The County Council must ensure there are sufficient primary school places to meet the rising demand for them. Hampshire, like many other parts of the country, is experiencing increased pressure on school places. These proposals represent significant investment to ensure that children can attend their local schools and I will consider them carefully. The decision is to approve consultation on the proposals - if I take this decision then the Governing bodies, staff pupils, parents, the wider community and district councils will all have a chance to comment before any final decision is taken."