Council reveals plans for primary school expansion in Rutland

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Rutland County Council has outlined plans to create a new primary school and extend three others.

The recommendations for a new 210-place school in Oakham, along with the proposal to expand three of the existing primary schools in Oakham and Uppingham will be considered at the council’s next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

We must look at ways to support the expansion of our schools.

Deputy council leader Terry King

The council has made the recommendations in relation to pupil place planning to ensure the county has sufficient school places for primary-age children from 2015 to 2020.

In drawing up the proposals for the short term the council has consulted primary schools in Oakham and Uppingham, three of which wish to expand to increase the number of places they can offer to local children.

Cabinet will consider a recommendation to release £1.3m of Basic Needs Funding from central government to be used to support the expansion of Uppingham C of E Primary School, English Martyrs and Brooke Hill Primary. If approved, this expansion would provide additional places for the 2015-16 school year.

Further to these plans, Cabinet will consider whether or not to seek the long term proposal to run a new school in Oakham - inviting possible providers to submit applications.

The new school would be a mainstream coeducational primary and would help meet the growing demand for school places in Oakham.

Councillor Terry King, portfolio holder for development at Rutland County Council, said: “Rutland’s population is growing and the level of surplus places in Rutland schools has fallen in recent years as pupil numbers have increased. “Cabinet will consider recommendations to expand several primary schools in Rutland to meet the demand for places in the short term and also decide whether or not to begin the process of identifying a provider who would run a brand new primary school in Oakham.

“Rutland has consistently achieved over 90% of first choice preferences for both primary and secondary school admissions.

“In order to maintain this position and continue to meet the needs of local parents we must look at ways to support the expansion of our schools.”

The council believes more secondary places will also be required in the short and longer term basis.

Expansion at Catmose College is also being considered to meet immediate demand, with an increase of secondary 11-16 places made possible following the movement of Rutland Adult Learning and Skills Services to Oakham Enterprise Park.

If Cabinet agrees to begin looking for a provider to run a new primary school in Oakham, the Council will accept expressions of interest from March 20 to May 29, 2015.

A public meeting will be held at Brooke Hill Primary to discuss the possible expansion at 7pm on Wednesday.