To receive and consider the Primary and Secondary Schools Roll Projections report.
Piers Brunning presented the Primary and Secondary Schools Roll Projections report.
Piers Brunning stated that the projections indicated that there were sufficient primary school places to meet needs. However, the Council’s strategy for new homes, focused on a small number of large scale developments was expected to mean that there would be a mismatch between where children lived and where schools were located. With the exception of the pressures seen in the Shinfield area (and possibly evidenced by the birth ‘spike’ in Woodley) there was no immediate surge in demand in areas with rapid housing growth.
Piers Brunning stated that the lower birth numbers per year after 2012 had been more important than the impact of migration related to the number of new homes built in the Borough.
Piers Brunning stated that there could be pressures in the school transport Budget if children had to be allocated to schools not within their designated area.
In relation to secondary school placements, although the primary bulge was working its way into the secondary sector, and the projections indicated that demand would outstrip the available places, the growth may not be so great as to create a requirement for a large scale expansion.
Piers Brunning stated that Wokingham’s children who lived in the Wokingham Without ward traditionally attended Edgbarrow School. It was expected that children from Wokingham Without would continue to be able to attend Edgbarrow, despite some large developments currently taking place in Bracknell.
Piers Brunning stated that a new primary school would be built in Matthews Green and that discussions had started about the possibility of expanding and re-locating a primary school in Arborfield.
In response to a question Piers Brunning stated that there was currently no pressure for sixth form places. Extra capacity could be created in Bohunt School if needed. There were ongoing discussions with post 16 education providers, including with colleges.
During the discussion of the item the following comments were made:
· In response to a question Piers Brunning stated that Headteachers would be consulted on any proposals to expand sixth form places; however there was no indication that extra capacity at sixth form was needed;
· Janet Perry stated that it would be useful to include in the table the number of surplus places in secondary schools and sixth forms, for each school if possible;
· Janet Perry stated that it was crucial to ensure that sixth forms were financially viable for schools. She believed that schools would struggle to make their sixth forms viable in the future;
· Paul Miller asked that this report be shared with all Headteachers. Carol Cammiss, Director of Children’s Services agreed to present this information at the Headteachers Briefing;
· Brian Prebble noted that the school admissions process did not seem aligned with the planning of school places.
1) The report would be circulated to Headteachers for information; and
2) The report be noted.