Cheshire East Council is considering expanding three schools in Wilmslow, creating over three hundred additional places to meet the growing local demand.
The £3 million proposed expansion plans will provide an extra 330 places across all year groups for the Wilmslow area and allow the current number of reception places to increase by 45 from 360 to 405 places by September 2014.
The plans include expanding Wilmslow Grange Community Primary and Nursery School in Handforth to create an additional 105 places, expand Dean Oaks Primary to also provide an additional 105 places and to work in collaboration with Lacey Green Primary Academy to enable an extra 120 places to be provided.
The Wilmslow Local Area Partnership (LAP) has 10 primary schools and 1 secondary school covering the areas of Wilmslow, Handforth and Alderley Edge. The total primary school capacity across this area is 2498 pupil places, and currently provides 360 reception class places.
The Local Authority received 376 applications for the 345 reception places at Wilmslow schools in September last year, to accommodate these additional children a number of schools agreed admissions above their published admission number and long term measures were taken to increase the reception class places to 360 for September 2013.
However, to date the Authority has received 413 applications for admission to reception in September 2013 and the potential admission pool, which is based on birth rate data for this area, is expected to increase further to 441 pupils for 2015, which is well beyond the current capacity of 360 pupil places.
In order to provide a 4% 'operational surplus', which is a level of spare capacity intended to accommodate some degree of parental choice and allow for mid-year entrants, current forecasts indicate the need for an extra 327 pupil places by 2018.
The building works necessary for these proposals would be funded from the Council's 2013/2014 Capital Programme. The investments required for each school are estimated at £887,000 for Wilmslow Grange Community Primary, £900,000 for Dean Oaks Primary and £1,237,000 for Lacey Green Primary Academy.
Funding approved by the Council includes £887,000 for the proposed expansion of Wilmslow Grange and £1,237,000 set aside as a block allocation to fund one of two options - Dean Oaks Primary or Lacey Green Primary Academy.
Therefore additional investment is required to implement all three proposals, this could come from using unallocated funds from the Children, Families and Adults 2013- 2014 Capital Programme or obtaining funding from the Department for Education.
These proposals have the full support of the headteachers and governing bodies.
The Council intends to hold a 4-week consultation on their school expansion proposals, starting in June, which will be followed by the Cabinet making a decision on July 22nd.
The proposed completion date for these expansions is September 2014 so in order to complete these schemes on time the construction phase would need to commence by September 2013.