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Thursday 20 December 2012

Decision on school expansion deferred


The Cabinet member responsible for children and family services has postponed a decision to expand Wheelock Primary School to allow all the Sandbach primary schools to come forward with different solutions.

At a portfolio meeting, Councillor Rachel Bailey deferred the expansion decision, which will now be taken on January 28.

The current proposal would involve increasing the capacity at Wheelock Primary School from 210 to 315 places. This would be introduced from September 2013 with an intake of 45 in the reception year. This reflects the increase in demand for school places in the Wheelock area.

The increase in school places is needed as pupil forecasts predict a shortfall of 144 places across the six Sandbach primary schools by 2017.

A consultation on the proposals was launched on October 15, which received a large number of responses (271) that the Council has considered.

From the responses 48.7 per cent (132 responses) indicated they support the move, or had no view on the matter.

Councillor Bailey said: “This is an important decision that will have consequences for a wide-range of people in the local community, not just those directly involved in Wheelock Primary School.

“As such, it is only right that we take the time to ensure we make the right decision. Neighbouring schools have indicated that there are other options – well now is the time to come forward with them.

“Our forecasts predict a shortfall in places in Sandbach and the surrounding area, and action must be taken to address this.”

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