£26million plan to create more school places in Coventry
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.”