Move to boost number of places at Wilmslow High School

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Cheshire East Council is working with the management team at Wilmslow High School to increases the number of places available.

At a recent meeting with local councillors and management at Wilmslow High, senior local authority officers outlined the programme of work under way to increase the size of the school to meet the local demand for secondary school places.

The impact of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy will require the school to expand and there have been some concerns raised within the Wilmslow community that there will not be sufficient places for children to attend their local school.

The scheduled work under way is being phased in to meet the immediate need and then respond to the demands associated with planned housing developments in Wilmslow and Handforth.

Year 7 intakes for last year and for September 2018 have been increased to 330 pupils. However, of the total number who requested Wilmslow High School as their first choice only 86.7%% were successful, with 50 students losing out.

This increase in pupil numbers will see an initial investment of over £650,000 to improve facilities across the school – none of which are temporary buildings.

Future phasing will see further significant investment on the school site by the council as part of planning for the future secondary education provision for the local Wilmslow community. This will include funding resulting from housing developments, which is known as section 106 financial contributions, as well as grant allocations into the council.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "The considerable work already undertaken is geared towards meeting both the short-term needs of the school as well as planning for the long term. This important work is being planned and delivered in full consultation with the school and is supported by local members.

"Having sufficient school places for every local school is a priority for the council and this programme typifies the work which is under way across the borough. All local Wilmslow parents and families should be reassured that we are fully committed to meeting their needs through a sustainable and creative building programme."

Dr James Pulle, headteacher of Wilmslow High School, said: "Meeting the needs of the local community is one of the core beliefs of the school. Having a real input into the capital investment for the school is essential and there is a real commitment and excitement to continue to grow and expand our successful school.

"The newly-completed external dining facilities are an excellent example of investment, which all pupils will benefit from and I look forward to finalising future phases of work, which allows us to deliver the very best educational opportunities for every learner.

"Consideration of new access points on to the school site and linking into local cycle initiatives shows that this expansion programme is more than just buildings. Addressing access and transport issues is key to meeting increasing pupil numbers."

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Wilmslow High School
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Kahkashan Rani
Wednesday 27th June 2018 at 4:51 pm
Why they are pushing one school ? Why not have another school so more better results come out .more children more pressure on teachers . Why not council approved a land for high school instead of private developers for expensive houses
Sheila Grindrod
Wednesday 27th June 2018 at 5:55 pm
Just a thought will they have enough space to grow even bigger and more importantly the teachers that will be required in the future. I have heard that there was a shortage of teachers at this school already.
Wendy Falk
Wednesday 27th June 2018 at 6:30 pm
I agree with KS, the teachers are under so much pressure already with class numbers at an all-time high and, subsequently, children are missing out/misbehaving. Even if they made a separate sixth-form/college campus and extended the school that way it would be better for the pupils I’m sure.
The area ear-marked for senior living by Handforth Dean, the area just of Station Road roundabout near Lidl and the Refuge Assurance Building land off Alderley Road to name but a few...
From what I understand, the external extension to High Options was not being utilised by pupils and the money would’ve probably been better spent on some lunchtime supervisors during break-out times in already suitable existing areas around the school, rather than disallow students to even use those existing areas.
Rant over.
Helena Hodgson
Thursday 28th June 2018 at 12:02 am
I cannot understand the expansion of Wilmslow High School. Where is the duty of care to the young people who attend? It smacks of a sheer dereliction of duty to the needs and safety of our children. Visit any Manchester school built in the 90’s and noughties to see the facilities on offer. Super schools are no longer the way forward - already around 330 ish children per year for y7/8 children. As an ex employee, the corridors are simply ridiculous at around 4 ft on the science corridor and 3 ft on the English corridor. Where is health and safety factored in re the movement of students in between lessons? Gridlock already (dating to the noughties) at various times of the week. Also, no storage for the ridiculous amounts of items - 2 or 3 bags on some days - carried around all day! What of the potential injuries to the backs of the children attending? As an ex police officer working in schools for 8 years, class size, corridor space and size of school is highly relevant in ensuring the safety of children in school. How inadequate are CEC to not factor in the need for a new high school to the plan for the growth of Wilmslow? How big does the high school have to become before we say enough is enough? Has anyone seen 330 children crammed into a narrow corridor, awaiting the arrival of the teacher who’s also caught up in the melee of chaos, trying to get to their class whilst dealing with the chaos on route? I have in 2009 with 300 children approx as a short person - not as a y7 child but it’s not great! Get a grip CEC and provide an educational establishment fit for the 21st century! Rant over!
Simon Worthington
Thursday 28th June 2018 at 9:23 am
The school was meant for 1500 pupils and gradually expanded. The council has claimed several time that no more expansion will happen. Nose growing time again!!
It is ridiculous that 11 year olds move from a school with between 125 and around 400 pupils to a school with 330 (at present) per year.
The blinkered approach has ignored the fact that another school, preferably in Handforth, has been needed for several years. When another 3-4000 "cookie cutter" boxes have been quickly chucked up where will another couple of thousand kids go to school. I am told that Poynton, Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme all have similar problems.
A simple answer - there is no profit in a school or a park, dentists, doctors etc. etc.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 28th June 2018 at 9:25 am
A very interesting insight into the internal congestion within inadequate corridors from Helena.

It is noted two new access points are being considered. Will these be designed to address the traffic issues currently existing for neighbours of the school as well as the dangerous situations twice a day on the A34 bypass? Is it possible the new access points could be from the bypass allowing for a one way system through the school, as well as accessing the Royal London development site, as suggested by Residents of Wilmslow (RoW)? There are a lot of neighbours around Holly Roads, Leaside and Alderley Road etc who will rejoice if this is the case. Also, there is the almost ready to go to press Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) to be considered.

Is it possible we get a good decision coming out of CEC on this one or is it more likely one that further stresses the infrastructure and the people of Wilmslow?
Jon Williams
Thursday 28th June 2018 at 8:31 pm
We need a new school, in Handforth !
Stuart Redgard
Sunday 1st July 2018 at 10:32 pm
#Jon Williams.

That's exactly what I told the Independent Examiner when I spoke at the public hearing of the CEC Local Plan Core Strategy.

Unfortunately, he obviously didn't agree with us.
Kahkashan Rani
Tuesday 3rd July 2018 at 9:31 am
Is anybody who want a campaign for new high school ? Or how we can start ?
Richard Slater
Wednesday 4th July 2018 at 9:43 pm
Ah Cheshire East forward planning again, sell Dean Row High for shops, and then sell Thorngrove for Housing..........oh we need a new school now because the places have increased!
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 5th July 2018 at 1:09 am
#Kahkashan Rani

Can I suggest that the Parents Teacher Association would be my first point of call.

Contact details can be found at https://bit.ly/2IU0fr0

However, these plans have been several years in the making and I suspect that they are alreeady cast in stone that will be almost inpenetrable.

Good luck.

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