City school to take 105 ex­tra pupils to cater for new homes

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - By ZENA HAW­LEY zena.haw­[email protected]­plc.com @Ze­naHaw­leyDT

Fes­ter CON­CERNS that new homes be­ing built at Kingsway in Derby will put pres­sure on places at schools in the Mack­worth area have prompted Derby City Coun­cil to pro­pose in­creas­ing the size of one of them.

The plan is to in­crease the in­take of Brack­ens­dale Pri­mary School from 60 to 75 pupils an­nu­ally on a phased ba­sis. This will mean that within seven years, the school will have 525 pupils – up from 420 cur­rently.

An ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion has al­ready taken place and the coun­cil now wants to move to a for­mal four-week con­sul­ta­tion which would lead to a fi­nal de­ci­sion by March. Just two peo­ple re­sponded to the ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion and both were in agree­ment with the ex­pan­sion pro­posal.

De­vel­oper Kier Liv­ing is build­ing 700 homes on the for­mer Kingsway Hos­pi­tal site, which falls in to the catch­ment area for Brack­ens­dale Pri­mary, and the coun­cil plans to en­sure the school can ac­com­mo­date chil­dren mov­ing into the new prop­er­ties.

There are no plans to make any changes to the cur­rent school catch­ment area as a re­sult of the pro­posal.

There were enough school places to ac­com­mo­date chil­dren mov­ing into Chucky the first phase of the hous­ing de­vel­op­ment but new places are needed to pro­vide for the sec­ond and fu­ture phases.

As part of the plan­ning per­mis­sion ap­proval, the de­vel­op­ers have en­tered into a Sec­tion 106 agree­ment with the coun­cil to pro­vide £1.9m to cre­ate the ad­di­tional school places.

This will be used to build a new block of five class­rooms on the Waltham­stow Drive school site.

If the pro­posal gets fi­nal ap­proval, the in­creased in­take would start in the re­cep­tion year from Septem­ber.

A re­port be­ing heard at the city coun­cil’s cab­i­net meet­ing on Wed­nes­day warns that “with­out the pro­posed ex­pan­sion, there is sig­nif­i­cant risk that the coun­cil will not be able to de­liver its statu­tory duty to pro­vide suf­fi­cient pri­mary school places”.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for the school. Larger schools have the abil­ity to of­fer a wider cur­ricu­lum and a greater range of op­por­tu­ni­ties for all pupils.

“In­creased num­bers of pupils at the school will re­sult in in­creased fund­ing and the em­ploy­ment of any ad­di­tional staff that are needed.”

Brack­ens­dale Pri­mary School came into be­ing fol­low­ing the merger of the ad­ja­cent in­fant and ju­nior schools 12 months ago and David Hall be­came prin­ci­pal.

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