Secondary school’s expansion moves into next phase of programme

By Joel Wood

Plans to expand eight secondary schools in the Leicestershire area has moved into its next stage of the £45 million project.

The expansion programme will create 2,500 extra secondary school places, the same as building two new schools, and aims to be up and running by September 2018.

Amy Robinson, 24, DMU student and mother of one, said: “With the demand for schools at such a high level, and especially being a first-time applicant for schools, the plans to increase capacity make life a lot easier.

“Our son is the eldest child so just applying isn’t enough, we have to go to extra lengths to be able to up our chances of our first choice being accepted.

The planning and design phase will cost the council £920,000 which will be deducted from the Basic Need capital funding pot.picturee1

Amy added: “Having the extra schools, classes and teachers would help a lot, if the proper measures regarding child safety and teaching standards were followed.

“It’s no good throwing loads of extra money if the quality for our children isn’t up to scratch.

“As a mum, I think that adequate school places for every child is priority, however there are always other things that can be improved.”

Babington, Crown Hills, English Martyrs, Judgemeadow, Rushey Mead, Soar Valley, St Paul’s and The City of Leicester schools will all receive these extensions onto the original buildings.

All schools will receive an extra 300 new places with Soar Valley and Rushey Mead receiving slightly more.

Councillor Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor for children, young people and schools, told Leicestershire City Council: “We’re working closely with the schools and will aim to keep disruption to a minimum while we do any work.

“Moving up to secondary school is a big step for young people, and choosing a school is an important decision for families.

“We want to do all we can to make the whole process as easy as possible.

“We know that there are applications for free schools to open in the city.

“This will help to ease the pressure on places, but our forecasting shows us we will still need more.

“Building work takes time, which is why we’re pressing ahead with these plans now, releasing the funding in phases as we go along.”

Construction is scheduled to start in Autumn 2017.

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