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Stamford "a number of years" from needing a new school

Education leaders have predicated that Stamford won't need a new primary school for at least the next few years.

Malcolm Sargent Primary School took on four classes of reception children in September 2018 to meet the demand for places.

At the time Lincolnshire County Council said it was a "bulge year" but this year's intake will be back to three classes as the numbers return to normal.

The council is confident Stamford's existing schools can cope with pupil numbers despite proposals for new housing developments in the town.

Admissions and education provision manager, Matthew Clayton, said: "We will continue to discuss with the local planning authorities (South Kesteven District Council and Rutland) to determine the future impact of housing development and when additional capacity might be needed and where.

"Should enough houses come forward then at some point in the longer term, a new primary school might be a possibility, but we are a number of years from that yet."

Stamford currently has five primary schools - Malcolm Sargent, St Gilbert's, St George's, Bluecoat and St Augustine's.

Figures show the predicted reception class intake for 2020 and 2021 will be lower than this year.

Mr Clayton said: "At the present time the indicative birth data suggests a fall in reception aged pupils requiring a school place in September 2020 across Stamford.

"To create too much additional capacity too soon and all in one go could have a detrimental impact on other schools in the town and result in an inefficient provision of surplus primary school places.

"As with any potential new school in the county, we will continue to assess the capacity position on an ongoing basis based on projected numbers, including factoring in housing that has a high probability of being delivered.

"If required, a new school will be considered at the correct time to ensure it is viable and existing schools can be maintained – this is also required by the Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education who is ultimately responsible for the approval of the opening of new schools."

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