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Plans to increase school places
4:00pm Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
A MEETING will take place tonight to discuss plans for increasing places at an Evesham school.
Worcestershire County Council predicts the town could be short of 36 reception class places by 2016 if population growth forecasts are as expected. It has proposed to meet increased demand by raising the published admission numbers (PAN) at Bengeworth First School from 60 to 90.
One option would see the school’s new site at King’s Road take in 60 children and the original Burford Road site accommodate 30 pupils. The other proposal is to retain Bengeworth First School’s 60 reception places and move all children to the new King’s Road building, and set a new 30-capacity academy or free school on the Burford Road site.
If approved, the changes would take effect in 2015 or 2016.
A public meeting is set to take place tonight at the school’s King’s Road building from 6pm before a public consultation on the proposals ends tomorrow.
The plans will go before Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet in March and, if approved, there will be another opportunity for the public to comment.
Alison Cartwright, Worcestershire County Council's service manager, said it was the council’s responsibility to ensure there were sufficient places for all of the county’s pupils to attend school.
“Currently there is a rising demand for primary school places in some areas of the county, specifically Evesham, Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester,” she said.
“The local authority has met with head teachers in the affected areas and after consultations with governing bodies a number of schools have come forward for potential increases.
“This consultation is to find out what support there is for increasing the PAN at these specific schools and to ensure that we work with communities from the very start of the process so that we are able to make the best recommendations for the future at the county council’s cabinet meeting in March 2013. For most of the schools included in the consultation document there is a need to increase the accommodation to ensure there are enough classrooms for the additional pupils.
“As Worcestershire County Council has the responsibility to meet this basic need pressure for school places, the responsibility for providing the accommodation rests with the county council.”
To view the plans and leave comments, visit worcestershire.gov.uk/ schoolconsultations.