Schools in Gillingham could expand
Two primary schools in Gillingham
could be expanded to cope with the rapidly increasing numbers of
families moving to the area.
If the plans are approved, Saxon
Way will expand to two forms of entry, while Brompton Westbrook
will increase its admission numbers from 45 to 60.
The reception admission numbers at
Napier Primary School will go up from 60 to 90 in September.
A report prepared for a cabinet
meeting on yesterday revealed that the pressure on places will
be much more severe than first thought. Another reason behind the
strain is the increasing birth rate.
The report states: “We cannot
predict with any certainty whether the birth rates will continue to
rise, level out or fall in the coming years.
"However, 2010/11 had the highest
birth numbers on record across Medway.
“In Gillingham, the past four years
have been the highest on record and the trend overall is
Forecasts predict there will be a
deficit of 41 reception places in September 2014.
As increased numbers progress
through the schools it is expected there will be a shortfall of 98
places across all year groups from September 2016.
Expanding Thames View Primary
School has been lined up as a backup option in case Saxon Way
doesn’t prove viable or more places are needed in the future.
Cabinet members approved
feasibility studies into the expansions at the meeting.
Saxon Way was placed in special
measures in May, although an inspection in December revealed that
the school is making progress.
The report claims expansion of the
school could “help the school’s progress and viability”.
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