Strides taken to provide enough school places

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Strides are being made to build one new primary school and move another to bigger and better premises to help meet the growing demand for places.

The Secretary of State is likely to be asked to approve an operator to run a new academy primary school on the Elsea Park development in Bourne, and South View Primary School could get the go-ahead to move to the former St Guthlac School site in Crowland.

Both school plans will be considered by Lincolnshire County Council’s children and young people’s scrutiny committee on Friday.

Members will be asked to recommend that the executive councillor for children’s services and lifelong learning submits a report on three operators who have put themselves forward to run the new school in Bourne.

The final decision rests with the Secretary of State, but following an evaluation day during which the operators outlined their plans for the school, a panel has chosen one – a partnership between the CfBT Schools Trust and Bourne Westfield Primary Academy – which it will nominate as its preferred choice.

A site has already been secured for the new school and it is hoped it will open in September 2014 to help meet an expected shortfall of required primary places in Bourne.

At Friday’s meeting the scrutiny committee will also be asked to recommend to the executive councillor that the relocation of Crowland’s South View Community Primary School is given the go-ahead from September 2014.

The move to the site, which is soon to be vacated by University Academy, will allow the over-stretched school to offer more places.

In 2012 it took in 60 new pupils – 14 more than its usual admission – and it is expected it will be required to do the same again in 2013.

* More primary school places could also be created to meet demand if two expansion plans succeed.

Lincolnshire County Council’s planning and regulation committee will meet on Monday to consider plans to grow Sutton Bridge’s Westmere Community Primary School and St Mary’s School in Swineshead.

The plan at Westmere (pictured) is for four new classrooms with associated stores and wet areas, as well as new boys’, girls’ and disabled toilets.

There would also be an extension to the hard play area.

The bigger building would mean the number of children on roll could be increased from the existing level of 212 in eight classes to 315 in 12 classes.

There would also be an increase in teaching staff from 25 full-time to 28 full-time. There would continue to be four part-time staff.

The committee will receive a recommendation to approve the plan, despite some concerns from residents living near the school over traffic congestion and on-street parking.

One resident’s objection states that “parents park illegally and dangerously and residents suffer from noise and pollution from parked cars”.

Members of the committee will also receive a recommendation to grant conditional planning permission for an extension to the front of St Mary’s School, Swineshead, to provide a new school hall.

The proposal would also include some internal remodelling to provide two further usable rooms.

It is hoped the extension would improve the facilities at the school and allow it to grow from 252 pupils to 280 over the next five to seven years.