A primary school on the outskirts of Preston will see the number of new pupils it admits next year almost double – with the possibility that the expansion could then become permanent.Advertisement
Broughton in Amounderness Church of England Primary School will host an extra class of new starters next September – increasing its admission number from the current 35 to 60 for the 2024/25 academic year.
Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has approved the change for one year only but also agreed to launch a public consultation into the option of maintaining a two-form annual entry at the Church Lane school in order to meet demand for places in the area.
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The temporary expansion can be accommodated within the existing building, but if the increase were to be made permanent, additional space would be required, according to a report presented to cabinet members.
The Department for Education says that the voluntary aided school – which is operated by the Diocese of Blackburn – currently has a roll call of 298 pupils, whereas its official capacity is only 245.
The authority has also approved a change to the budget for the previously agreed expansion of Longridge High School in Ribble Valley.
The admission number for the Preston Road school increased by 15 pupils this September and will expand by a further 30 from September 2024. That move will gradually increase the capacity of the facility – which also became an academy last month and is now operated by The Bay Learning Trust – from 825 to 1,050.
Details of the change to the capital financing for the project – which requires the creation of new accommodation for the further expansion next year – were presented in a private session of the cabinet meeting. Further design work is needed and prices are yet to be agreed with suppliers, meaning that cost estimates for the Longridge are not yet fully formed.
The projects will be partially funded by contributions from developers who have built housing in the two areas, but cabinet members were told that specifics are “yet to be finalised”.
So-called “section 106 agreements” with housebuilders – which secure the cash for the infrastructure needed as a result of new properties being constructed – usually require the money to be paid in stages, as the developments gradually become more occupied.
If the Broughton school expansion becomes permanent, details of the financing for the required new buildings will be presented to cabinet at a later date.
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