Continued population growth has meant further primary school places are needed across the city so that all children can go to school in their local area.
Sheffield City Council have been consulting on proposals to increase places in six areas of the city – Wybourn, Greystones, Crosspool, Firth Park, Acres Hill and Tinsley – since September.
Now cabinet is expected to take the next step toward the expansion plans in five of these areas following feedback from the consultation at a meeting next week (Wednesday 15 January).
A steady growth in the birth rate over the past decade as well as an increase in the number of families moving to live in Sheffield has meant more children coming through into primary schools. Already nearly 2,500 extra places have been created in primary schools across the city and more are needed.
Two brand new primary schools are also to be built in Shirecliffe and Fir Vale, opening in 2014, and a new through 2-16 school in Darnall will be operational from September 2015. Each will ultimately provide 60 additional places per year group for primary school pupils, with a total of 420 additional primary school places at each school.
Now the council is proposing to increase places at Wybourn Primary from 45 to 60 per year; make the temporary arrangements at Greystones Primary permanent – with an increase of pupils to 90 per year and increase intake at Hallam Primary for up to 90 pupils per year. These are some areas of the city where growth in the birth rate has been strongest.
Other proposals include a temporary expansion at Acres Hill Primary and a replacement school in Tinsley.
Tinsley has seen a temporary increase of 15 places per year in a previous round of expansions but as the population has remained high the preferred option is to bring together and expand the current junior and infant school to accommodate the growing population with a permanent addition of 30 places in each group. This would also mean the new school could be sited away from the nearby motorway. The Council has recently been successful in its bid for Government funding under the Targeted Basic Need programme to support the expansion.
Discussions over extra places in the Firth Park area are expected to be reconsidered following a review of the situation in Autumn 2014.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said:
“Schools are at the heart of the community – there is no doubt that children who are able to go to their local school do better in terms of attainment and quality of life and it’s the Council’s duty to try and provide this wherever we can.
We want to ensure all children achieve their full potential and having access to great local schools will help them achieve this.
I’d like to thank the schools for making extra places to ensure that children can attend their local school.”