£11m funding to boost places for school pupils

By Dayna Farrington | Oldbury | Education | Published:

Schools in Sandwell are to get an £11 million overhaul to create extra spaces needed for pupils across the borough.

Celebrating their GCSE results at Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury this week are Ellie Sheward,Callum Esprey, Brayden Birch, Francesca Barker and Lillie-Mae Clewer

Sandwell Council has been allocated Government money to help provide more than 3,000 extra secondary school places for pupils – that education chiefs say will be needed by September 2025.

A report to the authority’s cabinet next week is asking for approval for parts of the plan – which could see an extra 950 students at Bristnall Hall, West Bromwich Collegiate and the Q3 Academy Langley.

So far £2.8m has been earmarked for the project from the Government Schools Capital Programme – with a further £8.1m of the funding to be allocated in the future.

An artist impression of West Bromwich Collegiate Academy

Education officers have said more school places are needed because of a rise in the birthrate and the increasing numbers of people moving into the borough.

The scheme would see a new teaching block for Bristnall Hall Academy providing 150 additional spaces by September 2020.

A report which will be presented to Sandwell Council’s Cabinet next Wednesday will ask councillors to approve £1.5m funding for design work at Bristnall Hall Academy, and two other schools that are under construction – Q3 Academy Langley and West Bromwich Collegiate Academy.

Building work has not yet started at Bristnall Hall and will be subject to cabinet approval and planning permission.

Councillor Joyce Underhill, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for Best Start in Life said “We are working to make sure there are enough school places for pupils in Sandwell. These places are particularly needed in Smethwick and Oldbury to accommodate large year groups we know are coming through our primary schools.

“Bristnall Hall Academy has a very good reputation and has been over-subscribed for some years. This extension will allow 30 more pupils each year to attend this popular school.” Overall, education officers say the borough needs an additional 3,300 spaces to keep pace with the demand in children numbers.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.


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