Oversubscribed Wolverhampton school plans expansion to meet demand

A Wolverhampton primary is looking to expand in order to stop disappointing parents who cannot get their children into the school.

An artist impression of the proposed new early years building at St Bartholomew's CE Primary in Wolverhampton. Photo: Seymour Harris Architecture
An artist impression of the proposed new early years building at St Bartholomew's CE Primary in Wolverhampton. Photo: Seymour Harris Architecture

St Bartholomew’s CE Primary, in Sedgley Road, has unveiled plans to create a new early years building with three classrooms in it and an extension of its main hall.

The application said many families living within a mile of the school were unable to secure a first choice place at St Bartholomew’s because of the sheer demand outnumbering availability.

If approved by Wolverhampton Council planners, it will enable the school to increase its size by 105 by the year 2028.

The current capacity of the school – rated “outstanding” by Ofsted – is 393 and bosses said this would be increased by 15 per year over the next seven years.

It is hoped the new building will replace an existing cabin and dilapidated trim trail route in the play area.

The new building would provide two reception classrooms, a nursery classroom, staff space, toilets and storage.

As well as extending the school’s main hall, there will also be the refurbishment of two existing classrooms as part of the development.

In a ‘statement of need, the St Bartholomew’s said: “We are a heavily oversubscribed, Ofsted outstanding primary school, predominantly serving families within a one-mile radius of the school.

“Each year many families who have selected St Bart’s as their first-place primary school for their child are disappointed, despite it being their closest school, as there are not enough places to cater for demand.

“As a result, Wolverhampton Local Authority have requested that we increase our Pupil Allocation Number (PAN) by 105 over a seven year period.

“In order to for this to take place, the school require additional accommodation, comprising three additional classrooms, an extension of the current hall and a refurbishment of two current classrooms.”

Agents Seymour Harris Architecture added: “The location for the new block is to the south of the existing school site.

“This location has been chosen following analysis of the site and discussions with the school and local planning authority.

“This location minimises disruption and replaces poor quality, built accommodation in this area of the site as well as a dilapidated and unused external ‘trim trail’.

“Access to the school’s Forest School will also be improved by the works.”

The application is currently being considered by City of Wolverhampton Council planners.

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