£26m bid to cre­ate more school places in Cov

Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By TOM DAVIS Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

MORE sec­ondary school places will be cre­ated in Coven­try at a cost of £26mil­lion.

Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Lord Agnew has told all coun­cils they are ex­pected to cre­ate new places in schools or academies that have an over­all Of­sted rat­ing of ‘good’ or ‘out­stand­ing.’

A plan to meet the ad­di­tional places re­quired in sec­ondary schools from 2019-2021 has been out­lined in the coun­cil’s Coven­try One Strate­gic Plan and Ed­u­ca­tion Cap­i­tal Pro­gramme.

Cur­rent Year 3 stu­dents are the largest co­hort cur­rently in Coven­try pri­mary schools, it says, which will “se­verely im­pact upon the avail­abil­ity of Year 7 places” in Septem­ber 2022.

The plan must be ap­proved in time for Septem­ber 2019 sec­ondary school starters.

An ad­di­tional eight forms of en­try, equat­ing to 240 Year 7 places, are planned in Septem­ber 2019, us­ing a mix­ture of tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent ex­pan­sions within schools.

By Septem­ber 2020, an ad­di­tional 1.5 forms of en­try - 40 Year 7 places are planned through tem­po­rary in­creases.

An ad­di­tional six forms of en­try 180 Year 7 places - are then planned by the fol­low­ing year us­ing a mix­ture of tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent school ex­pan­sions.

Tem­po­rary “bulge” ex­pan­sions are fore­cast to cost £1m, with per­ma­nent ex­pan­sions cost­ing £25m, tak­ing the over­all out­lay to £26m.

The coun­cil has al­ready se­cured £13.84m ba­sic need fund­ing from the gov­ern­ment and is ex­pect­ing to re­ceive fur­ther al­lo­ca­tions of £5m in 2019/20 and £7.27m in 2020/21, to­talling £26.1m.

Pri­mary, sec­ondary and spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion needs head teach­ers were in­volved in con­sul­ta­tions between Fe­bru­ary and June this year, agree­ing to sec­ondary school ex­pan­sions in July. Fur­ther meet­ings with sec­ondary schools listed for ex­pan­sion were held in Septem­ber, be­fore cab­i­net agreed to the draft plan at a meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 2. A re­port will then be brought back to cab­i­net for con­sid­er­a­tion and ap­proval in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary next year, fol­low­ing fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion.

The re­port said: “The part­ner­ship com­mit­ment sig­ni­fies a state­ment of in­tent to col­lab­o­rate and work in part­ner­ship to achieve the best pos­si­ble out­comes for chil­dren and young peo­ple in Coven­try, en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of Coven­try schools, and to en­able the City Coun­cil to meet its statu­tory obli­ga­tions.”

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