A PRIMARY school near Winchester is expanding in response to the growing demand on places across Hampshire.
Colden Common Primary School had plans to build two new classrooms on its site at Upper Moors Road to accommodate a further five children per year. Over time it would allow a further 35 children across the school.
Now with the growing number of places required to satisfy the demand the school has now agreed to accept 60 children in September 2014 and 2015.
At a public consultation last month parents voiced concern that pressure on places would only increase further over the next 20 years with the extra 250 houses being built as part of Winchester City Council’s Local Plan Part One.
The school’s newsletter sent to parents said: “Having looked at the numbers applying for 2014, the governors were asked to consider accommodating a temporary modular building on the site. It was agreed that this would be on site by the end of August 2014, for the benefit of Colden Common and the young families that are being displaced to schools in the wider area.
“However, it became apparent that taking 45 children in 2014 would still leave children without a place. As you will have read in the media, there is national pressure on spaces and schools nearby would also be having difficulty accommodating the additional Colden Common children. Therefore the decision has been taken to accept 60 children in Year R (reception) this academic year and increase to 45 in Year 1 and 2.
“We have also agreed to take up to 60 Year R children in 2015. Our Published Admission Number will remain at 45 and therefore the school will not be growing to a two-form entry school at this point. The reason for this decision is that numbers from the census show that while there are more than 45 school-aged children living in Colden Common at the moment, this is not consistent in future years. Of course, if the proposed building work goes ahead in Colden Common then this decision will be re-visited and our future planning has considered this.”
Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP, Steve Brine, said: “This is great news for parents in Colden Common and part of the success we've had right across the area to bring new primary places online for this September. As a parent with young children myself, I know the relief this move will bring to many. “All credit to the school and the county council who I know have not come to this decision lightly but have done so with a sensible worked through plan that accommodates the bulge years we're currently experiencing while building in flexibility for the future so as to avoid a repeat of the expensive places surplus seen once before at the school.”