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£20m plan revealed to create hundreds of extra Walsall school spaces

By Tom Oakley | Walsall | Education | Published:

More than £20 million could be spent expanding a dozen schools to provide hundreds of extra school places in Walsall.

Hundreds more school places are needed in Walsall

Walsall Council will look at plans for 12 expansion projects that will see six primary and six special schools increase their capacity to offer more places to more pupils in the borough.

Under the plans, there would be 735 primary school places and 161 more special school places.

The schools earmarked for development are Leighswood Primary School, Manor Primary School, Church Church of England (C) Primary School, Salisbury Primary School, Short Heath Federated Schools and St Michael’s Church of England (C) Primary School.

The six special schools which could be development include Old Hall School, Shepwell Short Stay School, The Jane Lane School, Oakwood School, Mary Elliot School and Castle College of Business and Enterprise.

Walsall Council Children’s Services executive director Sally Rowe said: “The proposed school expansions represent significant investment in Walsall schools to ensure there are sufficient spaces to meet the needs of children living in the borough.”

The proposed expansion will be on the agenda at Walsall Council’s next Cabinet meeting on April 25.

Councillors approved recommendations to expand the schools in October and December last year, along with a preliminary budget.

Cabinet will review the progression of the projects through their more detailed design development and consider revised budget estimates, updated to include more specific information obtained since the initial assessments were undertaken.

The total budget identified for the expansion programme is £21.8 million and will be funded through the basic need capital grant allocated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to help local authorities meet expected pupil place demand forecasts

The expansion programme is expected to be complete by September 2019.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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