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Bromsgrove schools expansion plans announced
Updated 4:46pm Tuesday 6th May 2014 in Local
TWO Bromsgrove schools are set for expansion to help meet the rising demand for primary school places in Worcestershire.
A total number of 210 extra primary school places need to be found in the county by next September, on top of an extra 1,300 places that Worcestershire County Council already has plans to deliver between 2013/14 and 2015/16.
The authority's cabinet has now published proposals to expand Millfields First School, in Swift Close, and Blackwell First School, in St Catherine's Road, to help meet this demand.
The authority says schools chosen for expansion have been rated good or outstanding, showing the desire to ensure as many children as possible are educated in good quality schools.
A feasibility study has been carried out, proposing a three class extension to Blackwell, which has been oversubscribed.
Millfields has also been oversubscribed and the authority's cabinet says it recognises if the application for Whitford Homes is approved, this would generate additional children.
The council's feasibility study is proposing a two-class extension to the Millfields building.
It added that it had considered relocating or building a new Millfields First School, but ruled this out as being "too costly or unsustainable".
The cost of the expansion of both schools would be met from the authority's basic need allocation for 2014/15, with additional funding needed for the Millfields scheme coming from the housing allocated in the area.
The Department for Education's new red, amber or green system shows whether local authorities are providing enough high quality school places.
Worcestershire County Council was rated amber for basic need, as the authority has yet to confirm how it will provide 10.45 per cent of the total number of additional places needed between May 2010 and September 2015.
But the authority says it expects to be rated green for 2014 because of plans already underway, including the plans for the Bromsgrove schools.
Councillor Liz Eyre, the authority's cabinet member for children and families said: "It's good to know we are not only on track to provide the extra places needed, but also performing above the national average in ensuring these places are in good quality schools."
In a joint statement Anna Moss, Blackwell's headteacher, and Paul Gibbs, Millfields' headteacher, said: "We are very hopeful the expansion of our schools are moving on to the next stage and are on track to becoming a reality.
"Blackwell First School currently has 22 reception places and we have been oversubscribed for a number of years. These changes take the number of places to 30, which will ensure the long-term viability of the school.
"The proposals to increase Millfields First School from 45 places to 60, which will mean two reception year groups, are popular with parents as the school has also been oversubscribed for a number of years.
"With the increasing demand on primary school places across the county, we are reassured the county council is investing in our schools."
Councillor Liz Eyre, the authority's cabinet member for children and families added: "It's good to know we are not only on track to provide the extra places needed, but also performing above the national average in ensuring these places are in good quality schools."
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