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Wolverhampton schools growing as pupil numbers rise

By David Cosgrove | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

Hundreds more school places are being created in Wolverhampton as part of a £34 million council scheme to tackle growing demand.

Some of the Wolverhampton schools which are set to to increase in size

Three primary schools and five secondaries are set to expand as part of the scheme.

Under the proposals Loxdale Primary, Spring Vale Primary and Stowlawn Primary will become two-form entry from reception next September.

Bosses also want the five secondary schools – which are all academies – to increase pupil numbers as part of the expansion programme.

The city saw a 24 per cent rise in the number of births between 2002 and 2014 – which has led to the increasing demand for school places.

There has also been an issue with families moving to Wolverhampton from abroad, or transferred from London because the Midlands has cheaper housing.

Council leaders say despite more than 2,000 extra places being created since 2012 more are required.

Councillor Claire Darke, cabinet member for education, said: “Levels of demand for educational provision in Wolverhampton have increased significantly in recent years, and this is good news as it shows people want to live and get educated in our growing city.

“The increase has principally been driven by a 24 per cent rise in in births between 2002 and 2014, and despite the successful creation of over 2,000 additional school places since 2012, further expansion is now required to meet the needs of our growing population.

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“At the same time, the number of local schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted has increased in recent years and now stands at 89 per cent the highest ever – meaning there is even greater demand for places within our schools.”

Last month Councillor Wendy Thompson, leader of Wolverhampton’s Conservative group, last month said families are being directed to Wolverhampton from local authority areas including Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney and at least five other areas.

The families are being directed to the city by authorities in London because of a lack of social housing in the capital.

But senior members at Wolverhampton council say the issue is putting an extra burden on the city, especially in schools where class sizes are on the increase.

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The proposed expansions for schools in Wolverhampton are:

  • Loxdale Primary: The school to be permanently expanded to two-form entry and relocated onto the Bilston Urban Village site. From September, the school’s reception admission limit will be increased to 60. For the 2018-19 academic year the school will continue be housed on the existing site with a transfer to the new site in 2019-20. Capacity will rise from 240 to 420 places.
  • Spring Vale Primary: The school to be permanently expanded to two-form entry on its existing site. It is currently one-form entry and it is proposed that with effect from September the school’s admission limit would increase to two form entry. Capacity will increase from 240 to 420 places.
  • Stowlawn Primary: The school to be permanently expanded to two-form entry on its existing site. Reception admission limit is currently one-form entry (30 places) and it is proposed that with effect from September the school’s reception admission limit will increase to two-form entry (60 places). Capacity will increase from 240 to 420 places.
  • Aldersley High School: The school to be permanently expanded. The academy currently has 180 Year 7 places and it is proposed that from 2018-19 and beyond the academy offers 210 Year 7 places. In addition, it is suggested that post-16 capacity is increased to support the trust’s aspiration to enable post-16 students from Moreton School to be taught at Aldersley.
  • Our Lady and St. Chad Catholic Academy: The academy currently provides 170 Year 7 places and it is proposed that with effect from 2018-19 and beyond the academy offers 210 Year 7 places. In addition, to ensure the sustainability of the expansion, post-16 capacity would also be increased.
  • St. Peter’s Collegiate Church of England School: The school to be permanently expanded. The academy currently has 220 Year 7 places and it is proposed that with effect from 2018-19 and beyond the academy offers 280 Year 7 places. In addition, and to ensure the sustainability of the expansion, post-16 capacity would also be increased.

Under the proposals two other secondary academies are planned for expansion but these have not yet been named.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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