TOP PRI­MARY IS EX­PAND­ING TO MEET DE­MAND

Academy will cre­ate six new class­rooms

The Sentinel - - NEWS - Kathie Mcinnes Ed­u­ca­tion Re­porter kather­[email protected]­plc.com

ONE of Stafford­shire’s top-per­form­ing pri­mary schools has un­veiled a £2.5 mil­lion ex­pan­sion plan so it can help meet parental de­mand for places.

The pro­pos­als in­clude a sin­gle­storey ex­ten­sion at Burs­ley Academy, in Brad­well, that will pro­vide an ex­tra six class­rooms and a ded­i­cated li­brary space.

This will free up room in the main build­ing for a dance stu­dio and a food tech­nol­ogy area.

Other im­prove­ments are set to in­clude wider cor­ri­dors that chil­dren can nav­i­gate more eas­ily and a new 42-space car park.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the work has been sub­mit­ted to New­cas­tle Bor­ough Coun­cil. If plan­ners ap­prove the scheme, con­struc­tion could start in Fe­bru­ary.

Prin­ci­pal Brian Wilkin­son said: “This has been al­most four years in the plan­ning and we’ve spent a lot of time re­search­ing what we need to do to make it work prop­erly.

“We want to try and cre­ate the space that par­ents have re­ally been ask­ing for.

“It would mean be­ing able take an­other 15 chil­dren in each re­cep­tion year.

“At the mo­ment, the school is con­sis­tently over­sub­scribed.

“We get be­tween 70 and 90 ap­pli­ca­tions for 45 re­cep­tion places and have to turn quite a few fam­i­lies away.”

Burs­ley, which came in the top 10 in Stafford­shire for its SATS re­sults in 2018, is hop­ing to ex­pand its in­take from Septem­ber.

It would be able to cater for 420 pupils – an ex­tra 105 – after the changes are phased in. It also has a 26-place nurs­ery.

A doc­u­ment, drawn up by En­trust as part of the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, states: “The orig­i­nal school was built post-war, circa 1960, but has re­ceived sev­eral ex­ten­sions and alterations dur­ing its life­time.”

The lat­est project is be­ing sup­ported by a £2.3 mil­lion grant from the Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills Fund­ing Agency, with the academy pro­vid­ing some of the money it­self.

A fur­ther bid for fund­ing has also been sub­mit­ted for ad­di­tional work.

Mr Wilkin­son added: “We are mind­ful of other schools in the lo­cal area, so we are ex­pand­ing in a care­ful way.

“We want to bring the school build­ing up to date and have the abil­ity to meet the needs of our chil­dren.”

Burs­ley has also agreed an ar­range­ment with Chester­ton Com­mu­nity Sports Col­lege to use some of its sports pro­vi­sion if needed. The project will also see a hard play area re­lo­cated.

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