Agenda item

Guy Grandison asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:


Could the Member update the Council on the plans to provide extra space for schools in Earley?



Could the Member update the Council on the plans to provide extra space for schools in Earley?



The Primary School Planning Strategy for 2016-2018 which was endorsed by the Council’s Executive on 29 January 2016, establishes the need for new primary school places over the period 2016 to 2018.  The areas that were identified where capacity is required for 2016 are in Earley, Woodley and Shinfield.


The recommendations resulted from detailed analysis of data from various sources.  In the Earley area in particular the data demonstrated that there is a requirement for 1.5 Forms of entry (FE) for at least three years with at least 1FE permanent provision.


This Conservative led Council will be investing in creating 1 FE of permanent provision at Loddon Primary School, creating 210 additional places over all year groups from September 2016.  30 additional school places for Reception year will be provided at the school for September 2016.


Our analysis of data further shows that we need places for the Earley area also.  So Loddon Primary School will bring forward the Year 1 provision and will be providing an additional 30 Year 1 places for September 2016.


Further work is being done with another school in Earley to deliver 0.5 FE that is 15 additional places for each year group from September 2017.


Supplementary Question

Can I pass my thanks on to Officers and the Executive Member for Children’s Services for committing to deliver those 210 new places for this year and more coming next year.


Could the Member give us a further update on senior school places in Earley following the redevelopment of Bulmershe and the opening of Maiden Erlegh two in Reading?


Supplementary Answer

The very hard work that Emma Reynolds who is the Head at Bulmershe has done and her staff and her Governors, she has led significant improvement to that school.  Its popularity has therefore significantly increased.


In 2015 the unfilled places in Year 7 were thirty four and there were five left in 2014 before Maiden Erlegh two in Reading opened.


Forty children from the Earley Town Council area have been offered places at Bulmershe this year and nineteen of those live in the nearby Bulmershe and Whitegates ward, and that is for this September. 


It does not appear that by opening the Maiden Erlegh School, that it has had any significant effect on the Earley residents, so that is a positive.  Very few children, just nine living in the Earley Town Council area, were allocated to that school, so again not a big impact.  The original Maiden Erlegh School is still oversubscribed unsurprisingly and the distance the children, in terms of their allocation from the school to how far they live from the school has not changed really significantly in the time that we are looking at here.  Most children who get into that school live approximately within 1 mile from Maiden Erlegh.  In the last six years it has ranged from 0.944 miles going up to 2016 this year, 1.008 miles, so not much change. 


As in previous years places are available within walking distance of Earley homes, both at Bulmershe and Oakbank schools as well.