Extra primary school places triggers concern over jam-packed classrooms

Concerns raised over new plans

Concerns raised over new plans

First published in News

MORE than 100 extra primary school places are to be created in the town due to a schools shortage crisis, it has been revealed.

But some parents have called for new schools to be built or closed ones to be reopened to stop overcrowding classrooms.

Chapelford Village Primary School, which only opened last year, is one of five primaries affected and will increase their intake of pupils over the next three years to meet the growing demand for places.

Five primary schools in the town will increase its intake of pupils over the next three years to meet the growing demand for places, the Warrington Guardian has learned.

St Phillips CE in Westbrook, Barrow Hall, Chapelford and Park Road Primary School in Great Sankey were all selected by the council to increase its pupil population due to the schools' close proximity to new housing developments.

St Joseph’s Primary School in Penketh is also to be expanded to meet the growing demand for Catholic school places.

A council spokesman said: “As a consequence of the significant and ongoing new housing being built in the west Warrington area we are developing a strategy for meeting the additional demand for school places.

"Given that most of the new housing over the next five years will be to the north of the area, we have looked at the potential to expand existing schools within a reasonable walking distance of the development of approximately one mile.

“We have taken account of education performance, parental preference, building condition, site capacity to expand traffic and congestion issues and hope to be able to release details of the full strategy before the end of the month.”

A total of 120 places are to be created in the town but the exact numbers for each of the five schools have yet to be confirmed.

This is despite parents from Chapelford Primary School being been told that the school on Santa Rosa Boulevard will welcome a third class of reception pupils from September, with the intake rising from 60 to 90.

The announcement sparked concern from some parents, who are worried that this could cause more harm than good and have argued that the increase in pupil numbers should not be done at the expense of quality.

On Facebook, Kerry Edwards said: “More schools should be built. Overcrowding class rooms doesn't help the children that struggle.”

William Black questioned the council’s logic after shutting Sycamore Lane Primary School in 2013 following the opening of Chapelford Primary School while Paula Gallop said that more places were needed in other areas such as Orford.

The council was able to fund the additional places following a cash boost from the Department for Education of £10.4m for 2014 to 2017 for primary school places and said there are more opportunities to secure additional funding.

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