Annex school will not open now until 2014

A crane lifts a new mobile classroom into place at Spalding Primary School.
A crane lifts a new mobile classroom into place at Spalding Primary School.
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An “annex” aimed at relieving the pressure for places at Spalding’s primary schools is now unlikely to open before 2014.

It had been hoped the new school, which would share resources and staff with Spalding Primary School in Woolram Wygate, could be ready in time for a the next intake of four-year-olds in September.

Instead schools are likely to continue to struggle to meet demand, with some parents facing the possibility of having to drive children several miles to schools with available places.

Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed a feasibility study is currently being carried out into a possible annex, which would have a minimum of seven classrooms for more than 200 children.

A spokesman said that process was nearing a conclusion and plans could be ready by the end of February.

It is expected that the annex would built on a site on Wygate Park andcould possibly cost in the region of £2.5million –part-funded by £1.6million of S106 money from the housing estate developer.

At a South Holland District Council meeting last September, where members were asked to approve plans for a mobile classroom at Spalding Primary School to accommodate 30 extra children starting in the 2012/13 academic year, Coun Roger Gambba-Jones revealed he had been in talks with the county council and had been told it was working to an “extraordinary timetable” of having the annex open by September 2013.

The county council had told him it was looking at ways of “quickening the process” of planning and building to get it done quicker than the 18 months it would usually take.

But this week he said he was not surprised to learn it was not likely to be ready until 2014.

He said: “It’s nice to have ambition but 2014 is a more practical target, although residents will be disappointed that they will have another year of the chaos outside Spalding Primary School which hasn’t been helped by the extra intake this year.

“It will also mean another year of children being taught in mobile classrooms, which isn’t very satisfactory.”