Plans for new pri­mary school

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Joel Lamy Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Plans are be­ing drawn up for a new pri­mary school in Hamp­ton with par­ents cur­rently fac­ing a wait­ing list of 60 places to get their child into their first-choice pri­mary school in that area of Peterborough. To help ease the pres­sure on the three ex­ist­ing Hamp­ton pri­maries a fourth is be­ing pro­posed in the Hamp­ton Gar­dens de­vel­op­ment in Lon­don Road where a sec­ondary school is open­ing this Septem­ber.

A free school bid for the new two-form pri­mary has been sub­mit­ted by the Hamp­ton Academies Trust with a de­ci­sion ex­pected in March.

It is hoped the new school will open for the start of term in Septem­ber 2019.

Brian Howard, head of schools in­fra­struc­ture at Peterborough City Coun­cil, told the coun­cil’s cabi­net that: “Hamp­ton is a con­cern,” with par­ents fac­ing a “strug­gle to get a place.”

The new pri­mary, he said, would “pro­vide a buf­fer for Hamp­ton,” in the short to medium term.

Mr Howard added: “Wait­ing lists can fluc­tu­ate daily based on leavers and new ap­pli­ca­tions but, typ­i­cally for the present re­cep­tion year, we are av­er­ag­ing be­tween 50 to 60chil­dren on a wait­ing list for the three Hamp­ton pri­maries in to­tal.

“These chil­dren will be in schools, per­haps even in one Hamp­ton school, but on a wait­ing list for one of the oth­ers as their pref­er­ence.”

The cabi­net were dis­cussing a plan for school places which states that pres­sure for Year 7 places will be “crit­i­cal” by 2018.

How­ever, coun­cil leader and ed­u­ca­tion cabi­net mem­ber Coun­cil­lor John Holdich said: “There’s no alarm on school places at the mo­ment. This is a plan that looks into the fu­ture.”

Mr Howard added :“Al­though we have in­vested heav­ily and we have ca­pac­ity mov­ing for­ward, I do be­lieve we need to in­vest in some ex­pan­sions in some plan­ning ar­eas for pri­mary schools to con­tinue to meet the de­mands.”

The school place plan also in­cludes a new two-form en­try pri­mary at Pas­ton Re­serve which would sit on the same site as a new sec­ondary school, with both open­ing in Septem­ber 2019.

Thec abi­net also dis­cussed a re­duc­tion to its schools’ bud­get of £1.5 mil­lion which is largely due to a £1 mil­lion gov­ern­ment cut.

The fi­nan­cial pres­sures will be tack led when the coun­cil pub­lishes its sec­ond and fi­nal plans for its 2017/18 bud­get to­mor­row.

Cllr Holdich added: “It’s smoke and mir­rors.

“We’ve not cut ed­u­ca­tion, it’s cut it­self.”

The new Hamp­ton Gar­dens Sec­ondary School is un­der con­struc­tion.

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