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Wednesday 4 May 2016

Council backs plans to expand two Crewe primary schools to accommodate growing numbers


Cheshire East Council is to press ahead with the expansion of two primary schools in Crewe to relieve pressure on space.

Monks Coppenhall Community Primary and Hungerford Primary Academy will be able to increase their school capacity thanks to a combination of funding including Section 106 developer funding and capital funding through the Department for Education.

The programme will see an increase of 420 more primary pupil places by September 2017, providing 60 more reception class places.

The two schools, whose governors and academy trusts have put forward the proposals, will have a total number of 630 places per school.

The additional places will meet local needs created by population growth and new housing developments in the area.

A consultation process took place between the Council and the governing bodies and trusts of the two schools, together with Wistaston Academy Trust, whose proposal was not supported on this occasion.

Pupils at all three schools also took part in the consultation exercise.

Cheshire East Council has a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient school places for children in the Borough and, in an analysis of the latest pupil forecast, the Council identified a need for more places in the Crewe area. 

Following a detailed analysis and consultation with 14 schools, the two schools in the north of the town were identified to meet the impact of approved new housing developments in this area.

Councillor Liz Durham, Cabinet member for children and families, said:  “In Cheshire East we believe in delivering the best education to give our young people the best chance of succeeding in later life.

“I wholeheartedly support these proposals to ensure that we have sufficient school places to meet local need.  These two school expansions are one part of a bigger picture.

“We are planning for the future to ensure that all children and young people in Cheshire East can access an excellent education. 

“Cheshire East has great school admission results with 95 per cent of parents getting their first choice secondary school and 89 per cent getting their first choice primary school.

“With more than 150 schools in Cheshire East, managing the demand for places is no easy task. I thank the teams who have engaged with the local community in Crewe and worked with developers over the past 12 months to get us here today. 

“We can now proceed full steam ahead, with funding secured from developers and the Department for Education.  We will of course, continue to engage with the community as the plans take shape and I look forward to seeing the new classrooms in operation next year.”

Rhian Futcher, headteacher of Hungerford Primary Academy, said: “The children made some touching consultation responses saying that they love our school and would welcome more pupils. The expansion will enhance the provision for existing children, as well as adding diversity, experience and expertise through new staff, children and families.”

Pamela Simpson, headteacher of Monks Coppenhall Community Primary, said:  “This is very good news for our outstanding school.  All the governors, staff and children are looking forward to the exciting times ahead.”

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