Rotherham on top of school places

Published Thursday, 23rd July 2015
Starting school
Starting school

Good news for parents across Rotherham - long term planning by the local authority to provide future school places is paying off.

The Department for Education's annual 'Basic Need Scorecard' has revealed Rotherham is on the ball when it comes to meeting the demand of rising pupil numbers.

Scorecards, which are issued to all local education authorities, are based on school census data, local capacity and planning information received from local authorities on an annual basis.

The responses are used by the DfE to determine the amount of ‘basic need’ funding it allocates to local authorities to provide new school places.

Rotherham’s scorecard has shown that Rotherham’s increase in pupil numbers is 13 percent between the actual and projection period of 2009 and 2017, which is slightly below the borough's neighbouring local authorities and below the national average.

Rotherham will have received a total of £20 million of basic need funding between 2011 and 2018 to fund additional school places.

Under the quality section of the scorecard, Rotherham has a 'green' rating in relation to place provision as 84 percent of new school places were provided in 'good' or 'outstanding' Ofsted rated schools, which is higher than the 80 percent average for England.

Rotherham features in the middle (40-60 percent) quintile for cost nationally for providing new school places in traditional-build style and in the second quintile (20-40 percent) for cost nationally for providing new places in temporary or modular style buildings.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Advisory Cabinet Member for Education for Rotherham Borough Council, said that forward planning and the positive relationship with local schools has meant the council has been able to deliver additional school places where they are required in a timely manner.

He added, "The council has planned for future demographic growth within the Borough and it will continue to work with schools to ensure that the current high proportion of parental preferences for school places can continue to be met.

"For this year's September entry to school, a total of 93.98 percent of reception class entry applications were allocated their first preference school and 94 percent for entry into Year 7 secondary education. This is great news for parents and Rotherham ranks highly on a regional and national level in relation to first preference allocations."