More Sheffield school sizes to increase as pupil rate keeps rising

Education chiefs are drawing up plans to permanently expand more schools in the south west of Sheffield to further tackle the demand for places.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 08:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 18:04 pm
Stock Picture Ecclesall Infant School High Storrs Road Sheffield

The proposals have emerged a week after proposals to expand Ecclesall Infant School, more than tripling it in size, were given the final go-ahead by a Sheffield Council scrutiny committee. The primary school will have a widened age range, taking children up to Year 6, or age 11, and the number of pupils will be increased to 90 places per year.

Now the council is looking at permanently expanding Silverdale School, in Bents Green, from 2018 at a cost of £6.7 million, as well as adding an additional 210 places at Totley Primary on a permanent basis from September 2017.

Silverdale and Totley are currently being expanded temporarily, and as well as measures at Ecclesall Infant, two academies are being built - a secondary school on the former Bannerdale Centre site, and a ‘through school’ for two-to 18-year-olds on the old Pye Bank School site in Pitsmoor.

In the south west of the city, demand for places is being attributed to a rise in the birth rate and the movement of young families into the area.

A council spokeswoman said: “There’s a growing need. Population data shows that if we don’t act now, children will be unable to get into local schools as there simply won’t be enough places for everyone.

“Our vision is for excellent local schools that parents want their children to go to.

“We are building two new schools in Sheffield – one in the south-west and one in the north-east.

“We are also looking at expansions in other local schools where there is a need for places, as set out in last year’s school places consultation.

“We will consult further with the schools, parents and local communities as proposals develop.”

The Ecclesall plan was called in for scrutiny by Liberal Democrat and Green Party councillors after its approval by cabinet members in July.

Council officers said a thorough consultation had been carried out.

The wider age range will be introduced on a phased basis over a four-year period, with the first Year 3 class likely to be in 2018.

The council says more than 97.5 per cent of children got one of their preferred primary schools, as did more than 96 per cent of children starting secondary school, and that it ‘needs this to continue’.