Rising birth rate prompts 50 per cent expansion plan for Wisbech school opened by Princess Royal

Princess Royal in Wisbech in November 2005 when she visited the Orchards school and the Oasis Centre

Princess Royal in Wisbech in November 2005 when she visited the Orchards school and the Oasis CentrePicture. Brian Purdy - Credit: Archant

PROPOSALS to extend a Wisbech school which is expecting a 50 per cent increase in pupils have been announced.

The county council launched the expansion plan for The Orchards Primary School, in Cherry Road, this week.

A council spokesman said: “A rise in the birth rate in Wisbech and elsewhere in Cambridgeshire means extra school places will be needed from September 2013 and beyond.”

It will mean the school being able to admit 90 reception aged children (four plus) from September and in subsequent years.

A spokesman said: “These plans will enable a sufficient number of reception places to be provided in Wisbech in the 2013 and 2014 academic years.

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“Internal alterations are already being discussed with the school to enable it to take the additional children it will have on roll over the next two years.”

Pupil numbers will have risen from 420 to 630 by the time a permanent extension is completed in time for September 2016.

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A statutory notice detailing the proposals will be published next month, followed by a four-week period when residents and other interested parties can support, object to or comment on the plans.

Wisbech North county councillor Sam Hoy said: “Children born within its catchment area will naturally want to attend the school when they reach the age of four, and this proposal to expand the school will enable them to do that.”

The school was officially opened in 2005 with a visit by the Princess Royal.

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