Wales High School set to expandPublished Tuesday, 3rd January 2017
Over 150 new places are expected to be added to a popular Rotherham secondary school as part of wider £7 million growth plans across the borough.
Rotherham Council is expected to agree to plans to increase capacity at Wales High School in order to accommodate the increased demand for places locally.
The number of pupils attending secondary schools in the borough is set to go up as a result of increased demand, caused partly by a recent rise in the birth rate.
Already £13 million has been spent increasing primary school capacity since 2011. These children are now rising to secondary school age and plans need to be put in place, or pupils will miss out on places.
Cabinet members are recommended to agree to a £1.2m expansion of Wales High School, which will be paid for from Government funding, at a meeting next week, on Monday 9 January. This will be subject to planning permission being granted.
Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “Our commitment as part of our corporate plan is to make sure every child has the best start in life. It is well understood that if children can attend good or outstanding local schools of their preference it will help them to achieve their best.
“We want to strive to make sure our schools are the best they can be, and planning ahead to make sure we have enough capacity is key to this.”
This is the first of a raft of plans to increase secondary school places across the borough, which also includes planned expansions at St Bernard's, Wath Comprehensive, St Pius, Oakwood High and Aston Academy.
Cllr Watson added the challenge for the Council is making sure places are delivered on time and in the right places and within the parameters of the Department for Education (DfE) funding allocations to the local authority.
The Cabinet has already agreed a strategy to increase capacity in secondary schools to meet future demand at its meeting on July 11 last year (2016).
Consultation has been carried out with parents and carers and other local stakeholders at the secondary schools earmarked for expansion. Over the next two years further consultations will be undertaken as funding becomes available and plans drawn up for future expansion projects.
The funding for the expansions will come from the Basic Need Funding - allocated to local authorities from the DfE to meet future school place demand. The projects will be planned within these government funding allocation limits.