Wisbech primary school expansion to be reflected in demand across much of Cambridgeshire


Wisbech - Credit: Archant

THE county council has admitted it needs to work quickly to build enough primary school places across Cambridgeshire to meet growing demand.

Next week’s county council Cabinet will consider proposals for extending primary schools in both Wisbech and Littleport whilst plans for a new school in Ely will also be on the agenda.

Key decisions will particularly affect Orchards Church of England Primary School where numbers will rise form 420 to well over 630.

Education officer Ian Trafford says the council has faced a significant pressure on primary schools places in Wisbech in recent years as more children have been born in the town.

“This increase in birth rate is not only being experienced in Wisbech itself but also in other parts of Cambridgeshire, most notably the other market towns and the City of Cambridge.”

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Mr Trafford said last year Elm Road primary school in Wisbech was forced to use a mobile classroom to cope with extra reception year class pupils and Peckover was forced to run an extra combined reception/year 1 class.

“These were essential but temporary measures for one year only and are not available for addition children requiring reception places form September 2013,” he said.

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The council recognised Wisbech had a demand for more primary school places and it was not the council’s wish to continue with further temporary measures.

“A permanent solution is required,” said Mr Trafford.

Data provided by the NHS shows growing demand and the county council will look to find a site for an additional primary school.

With substantial extra housing forecast, Mr Trafford believes “new schools and further extensions to existing schools” will be needed in Wisbech and soon.

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