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20 January 2015, 17:29
Somerset County Council’s forward planning to meet the growing demand for Primary School places in Yeovil takes another big step forward this week.
Yeovil residents are being offered the opportunity to feedback on two new primary schools for the town in a drop-in session on Thursday 22 January. The County Council is building two new primary schools, one in the town’s north-east Wyndham Park/ Primrose Hill area, and another in Lufton to the west.
Over 97% of pupils in Somerset received a place at one of their preferred schools in September. In Yeovil, as with everywhere in Somerset, the County Council has a statutory responsibility to ensure that all children have a school place, however, it may not always be their preferred school.
However, meeting the demand for school places in Yeovil is a challenge and with around 2,100 new homes expected to be built in these areas, the new schools form the County Council’s decisive response and have long-been in the pipeline.
The first phases of the schools and nurseries, which will be for 2-11-year-old boys and girls, will be expected to open on 1 September 2016. Both primary schools will be Academies.
Wyndham Park/Primrose Hill primary school’s first phase will provide 7 classrooms, accommodating 210 places, along with a nursery with up to 24 full-time places.
The main hall and offices will be built in preparation for a 14 class school as pupil numbers rise further. In the long term the school will have places for 420 pupils.
Lufton’s primary will also be built to accommodate 210 school places across 7 classrooms, with a view to then doubling the school’s capacity over time as the housing development progresses. The second floor, which will accommodate the school’s second phase of 7 classrooms, will be brought into use gradually depending on how rapidly the local population grows.
Housing developers have agreed to provide both sites, and the County Council will procure the schools. No school transport will be provided as both schools will be accessible on foot or by bicycle.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“I’m very glad to be able to bring this good news to Yeovil. Our plans to provide these schools reflect our determination to meet the demands of this growing town, and fulfil our legal duty to provide school places to all pupils applying for them within Somerset. Against a backdrop of national pressure on school places, we are proud to say that a full 97.1% of pupils in Somerset received a place at one of their preferred choices in September 2014.
I hope Yeovil parents will be as excited by the prospects and opportunities these new Academies would bring as I am. We need the thoughts and views of Yeovil parents to help us provide the best possible spaces for learning.”
Cllr David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Resources at Somerset County Council, added:
“What we have here is the prospect of two exciting and clearly essential investments for Yeovil that will support the town and its residents as it rapidly expands. I urge anyone with an interest to come along to the session and share your thoughts with us.”
The four-hour drop-in session for Yeovil residents, and anyone else interested in these new schools, will be held on Thursday 22 January between 3.30pm and 7.30pm at Westfield Academy’s Upper Hall in Stiby Road, Yeovil, BA21 3EP. You will be able to find the latest information on the proposals, and share your views.
Can’t make the drop-in? Email Helen Waring on firstname.lastname@example.org to request a proposal document and a feedback form.
Anyone with queries about school places can call 0845 456 4038 or email email@example.com
The closing date for responses is Monday 16 February 2015.